Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene headline Detroit Tigers instructional league roster

Evan Petzold
Detroit Free Press

Many Detroit Tigers prospects were forced to train on their own time during the 2020 season when minor leagues were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others went to the alternate training site at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, where they played in intrasquad scrimmages without much competition.

"I don't think it helped by any means," Tigers general manager Al Avila said Friday about the 60-game MLB season. "Obviously, it hurt in the development side. The alternate training was not really a good place for development. We practiced, we did drills, we played intrasquad games, but that's not the best way to develop players."

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To continue the farm system's maturation, the Tigers announced Friday their list of 49 players invited to partake in instructional league camp in Lakeland, Florida, home of the team's spring training facility. As of this week, players have begun arriving and will stay through Nov. 8.

Avila said the goal is to play 15 games against other teams.

"There's some clubs that are not going to play, some clubs are not going to play as much, so it's been a little tough," Avila said Friday. "We're going to have 50 players and 20 staff members."

The list includes 16 of the Tigers' top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. The only members permitted to play in the instructional league are those not on the 40-man roster. Meanwhile, the Arizona Fall League, which hosts top prospects, is canceled because of the coronavirus.

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The Tigers' 49-player roster features five of the six players they selected in the 2020 draft:

First round, No. 1 overall: 1B/3B Spencer Torkelson

Competitive balance, No. 62: OF Daniel Cabrera

Third round, No. 73: SS Trei Cruz

Fourth round, No. 102: 3B Gage Workman

Fifth round, No. 132: 3B/P Colt Keith

Catcher Dillon Dingler (second round, No. 38 overall), who was with the Tigers for summer camp and at the alternate training site, is not on the instructional league roster. Of the six players drafted, Torkelson and Dingler were the only members who made the 60-man player pool this season.

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Also, the Tigers are sending right-handed pitchers Matt Manning and Alex Faedo to Lakeland, but they will not play in games. Both were shut down in late August with forearm strains. Manning is the team's No. 3 prospect. Faedo is No. 10.

"Just working out and building back up strength," Avila said. "Right now, they're perfectly healthy and doing really good. We're just not going to pitch them in games at this point."

Here's the Tigers' 49-man instructional league roster, with their MLB Pipeline prospect ranking included:

Pitchers (23)

RHP Gio Arriera

RHP Drew Carlton

RHP Ethan DeCaster

RHP Angel DeJesus

LHP Rodolfo Fajardo

RHP Jason Foley

RHP Ruben Garcia

LHP Max Green

RHP Carlos Guzman

RHP Wilkel Hernandez

RHP Zac Houston

RHP Marco Jimenez

RHP Alex Lange

RHP Keider Montero

RHP Gerson Moreno

LHP Cleiverth Perez

RHP Wladimir Pinto

RHP Paul Richan (No. 29)

RHP Elvin Rodriguez (No. 30)

RHP Joseph Salazar

LHP Jared Tobey

RHP Will Vest

RHP Brendan White

Catchers (5)

Eliezer Alfonzo

Cooper Johnson

Sam McMillan

Yoandy Rea

Eduardo Valencia

Infielders (14)

Cesar Calderon

Kody Clemens (No. 19)

Trei Cruz (No. 27)

Alvaro Gonzalez

Carlos Irigoyen

Colt Keith (No. 21)

Ryan Kreidler

Andre Lipcius (No. 28)

Wenceel Perez (No. 16)

Daniel Pinero

Nick Quintana (No. 24)

Adinso Reyes (No. 23)

Spencer Torkelson (No. 1)

Gage Workman (No. 22)

Outfielders (7)

Daniel Cabrera (No. 11)

Kerry Carpenter

Jose De La Cruz (No. 25)

Riley Greene (No. 4)

Kingston Liniak

Parker Meadows (No. 13)

Bryant Packard (No. 18)

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here's how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content