Now that the halfway marks of the 2023 MLB and fantasy baseball seasons have arrived, it’s time to look ahead towards which prospects could beef up teams for the second half. Or for those who are having a rough season, those who can make an impact in 2024. One of the hottest names in the Minors right now is Tigers 2B/3B Colt Keith, who could hit the Motor City very soon.
A Look at Keith
The crown jewel of the 2020 MLB Draft for the Detroit Tigers was Spencer Torkelson, a power-hitting infielder that showcased immense strength and a plus eye at the plate with Arizona State University. Torkelson raced up to the Majors, but has struggled over his two first season. While Torkelson is still very much a key to the Tigers’ future, so is 2020 fifth-round pick from that draft, Colt Keith.
Drafted out of high school in Mississippi, Keith put up modest numbers in his first pro season in 2021. The 21-year-old hit .286 with two home runs and 15 extra base hits across 65 games, and posted a rather impressive .396 OBP that year.
Keith’s power numbers have spiked over the last two seasons, as the Ohio-born infielder owned a .606 SLG and a 1.008 OPS across his first 62 games in two levels (AA and AAA) this season. He’s got a high leg kick, but he transfers his body weight well, stays steady at the plate, and has great hand-eye coordination and a big swing.
Primarily a third baseman, Keith’s seen time both at second and third in the Majors. Between his immense power and versatility at the plate, the 21-year-old is set to provide value to a Tigers team in need of some bats.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
The former fifth-round pick just got promoted to Toledo, so it’s likely that Keith will spend at least a few weeks in Ohio before the Tigers think about moving him north. But should Keith continue to excel in AAA, Detroit’s hand might be forced.
Nick Maton, acquired in the Gregory Soto trade that also netted Detroit Vierling, hit .163 across 72 games for the Tigers, most of which were spent at the hot corner. Former top prospect Andy Ibañez has also seen time at third for Detroit this season, but his .672 OPS on the season isn’t ideal. Jonathan Schoop and Zack Short have also played at third recently.
Keith has a clear path to the Majors, but it’s also important for the Tigers to not rush the 21-year-old into the Majors; Spencer Torkelson and his struggles from 2022 are proof of just that. Still, one can’t overlook the fact that Keith does possess the tools to be an everyday player in the Majors, and an impact player in fantasy leagues.
He may or may not see the Motor City this season, but Keith is a name to watch for the remainder of the season and 2024.