The Tigers are bringing up corner outfield prospect Kerry Carpenter to make his major league debut, the team informed reporters (including Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). Daz Cameron is being optioned to Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move. The club will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster before tomorrow’s game to formally select Carpenter’s contract.
Carpenter, 25 next month, entered pro ball as a 19th-round draft choice back in 2019. The Virginia Tech product wasn’t regarded as a draft prospect of much note and lost his first full professional season to the pandemic cancelation of the minor leagues. He spent last year with Double-A Erie, hitting at a roughly league average level. Few would’ve anticipated he was on the verge of a breakout, but Carpenter has torn the cover off the ball in 2022.
The left-handed hitter started this season back in Erie. He played there through late June, blasting 22 home runs in 63 games. Carpenter’s strikeout and walk rates weren’t great, but his power output was so overwhelming the Tigers bumped him up to Toledo. He’s played 33 games with the Mud Hens and hit even better there than he had in Erie. Carpenter is hitting .342/.433/.667 through 134 Triple-A plate appearances, connecting on eight homers and 11 doubles with matching strikeout and walk rates (12.7% apiece).
Carpenter doesn’t offer much defensive value, so he’ll have to hit at an above-average level to be productive. Baseball America credited him with plus power in ranking him the #12 prospect in the Detroit system midseason, writing that he made some swing changes last offseason that appear to have paid off. He’d have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not added to the 40-man roster at the start of the offseason. As they turn their attention to 2023, the Tigers will get their first look at a player they hope can carve out a regular corner outfield role in the coming years.
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