Hinch wants Paredes in the big leagues – not Triple-A


There's a spot on the Tigers' roster with Isaac Paredes' name on it. He'll have to earn it this spring, but Paredes clearly has the backing of manager A.J. Hinch.

Hinch said Wednesday that the 22-year-old Paredes, Detroit's No. 6 prospect, is at the point in his development where he's best served playing -- that is, hitting -- in the majors.

“I’m not sure Triple-A is the best for his development," said Hinch. "I think with the adjustment he’s going to have to make — with contact being the premium skill that he has and really, really good hands — that might have to happen in the big leagues for him to get the full development.

“I want him to play with some urgency and a chance to make this team. I’ve said it to him and I’ve said it publicly: I think he can help us win.”

Paredes got his first shot in the big leagues last summer and struggled after a hot start. But he raked in winter ball, leading the Mexican Pacific Winter League in average (.379), OPS (1.060) and doubles. He had more than twice as many walks as strikeouts.

"He’s a good player coming off a productive, confidence-boosting winter season," said Hinch. "Who knows, maybe he's somebody who can rise to the challenge of playing in the big leagues, rather than just being comfortable in Triple-A to start the season."

Paredes has long been considered a mature hitter for his age. His defense is more of a question mark; it's not exactly clear where he'll play if he breaks camp with the Tigers. He's a third baseman who's also spent time at second and short. His immediate path to playing time in Detroit is likely as a utility infielder.

Then again, if Renato Nunez doesn't win the starting job at first base and Jeimer Candelario starts there instead, Paredes could become the Tigers' starer at third. Hinch certainly likes the idea of his bat in the lineup, a bat that ripped an RBI single with an exit velocity of 105.6 mph in Wednesday's game against the Phillies.

"He knows a ball from a strike and he makes hard contact to all areas of the field," said Hinch. I'm looking forward to seeing him in competition a little bit more, you can only discern so much from video. But he's got that hitter-ish feel. He's got a little swagger to him, a little style, and he looks like he's in control of his at-bats.

"He’s hit at every level and the next step is the big leagues. We’re going to give him an opportunity to make our team at a couple different positions."

Featured Image Photo Credit: Detroit Tigers