Steven Moya has as much raw power as any September Call-Up in baseball this. In fact, the 6’6 230 pound right-fielder has more raw power than all but a handful of players in the game, having led the Eastern League with 35 dingers this year – more than any major league player not named Nelson Cruz has hit this year.
Moya is the most high-profile and exciting of the seven players Detroit called up as the clock struck midnight and rosters expanded from 25 to 40 players.
He has his flaws. Many, actually. An injury risk, the Puerto Rican missed significant chunks of the last three seasons with a variety of ailments. His swing is long and he’s undisciplined at the plate – 161 strikeouts to just 23 walks this year. Scouting reports indicate that his pitch recognition and contact skills leave a lot to be desired. He hit .273 average in Double-A but don’t expect an average out of the .240 range, if that.
Still, he has more batting practice power than any player on the Tigers roster, including quite possibly Miguel Cabrera, and some of that should translate into game situations. Moya’s fielding is an asset as well, as his arm is plus and his solid speed provides good range in right.
Tigers fans may see him as a power bat off the bench in a tight ball-game and as a late inning defensive replacement for Torri Hunter.
Hernan Perez – Having played in 34 games for the Tigers in 2013, Perez was expected to compete for the starting shortstop in Spring Training this year, but ultimately lost out. He returned to Triple-A Toledo, where the 23 year old middle infielder built on his strong 2013 campaign, hitting .287/.331/.404 with 32 doubles and 21 steals. Though Perez played second base for most of his professional career, the Tigers moved him over full time to shortstop this season and he could spell rookie Eugino Suarez, who has a .604 OPS since the All Star Break.
James McCann – The Tigers’ top pick from the 2011 draft , McCann, who ranks as Detroit’s 13th best prospect per MLB.com, hit .295/.343/.427 with seven home runs in 109 games for Toledo this season. That’s not incredible but it is noteworthy as McCann, 24, has always been viewed as glove-first player. If he can carry that offensive showing into the majors, he could replace incumbent Alex Avila when he becomes eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. For now, he will serve as a third catcher and a right-handed complement to Avila and reserve backstop Brayan Holliday.
Tyler Collins - Collins may not have Moya’s prodigious strength, but the elder outfielder is the more complete hitter. Collins, 24, hit .263/.335/.427 with 18 home runs, 49 walks and 12 stolen bases for Triple-A Toledo. A corner outfielder by trade, Collins is a below average runner and most of his first big league league action will probably come as a left-handed bat off the bench. MLB.com ranked him as the #15 prospect in the organization, the worst ranking of any of the Tigers’ position player call-ups.
Robbie Ray – Acquired as the center-piece in the off-season deal that sent veteran starter Doug Fister to Washington, Detroit has given Ray every opportunity to succeed in his rookie year. This will mark the third time the Tigers have promoted him this season. However, he failed to impress in his first two stints, with an ERA of 7.06 through seven appearances (six starts). That said, Ray is still only 22 and entered the year as the #97 prospect on BA’s annual list. In Triple-A this year, he has a respectable 4.22 ERA, though he was lit up to the tune of seven runs in just 3.2 innings in his most recent start.. Expect him to appear as a left-hander out of the Detroit bullpen, though a spot-start could be in order.
Kyle Lobstein – Lobstein, 25, entered the consciousness of Tigers fans – and Yankees fans for that matter – on August 28th, when the rookie right-hander allowed only one earned run over six innings to lead Detroit to a 3-2 victory over New York in his first major league start. Originally drafted by Tampa Bay, Lobstein was selected by the Mets in the 2012 Rule V draft and traded to Detroit shorty thereafter. He out-pitched Ray in Triple-A this season, with a 4.07 ERA, 7.8 SO/9, and 2.8 BB/9 across 26 outings (25 starts)
Kyle Ryan – Two days after Lobstein turned in a solid first career start, Ryan hurled a stellar one. He shut down the White Sox lineup for six innings of shutout ball, inducing 15 ground ball outs and earning the victory. Only five Triple-A starts preceded Ryan’s first major league outing, but he was untouchable in them: 3-0, 1.54 ERA, 1.54 BB/9. The finesse lefty will probably serve as another southpaw in the Tigers’ pen down the stretch, but could also receive