Archive for the 'Tigers' Category

Hot Prospects Heading Towards the End of May

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Scott Kingery 2B (Phillies) - Perhaps the hottest hitter in the minors, Scott has blasted four homeruns in his last three games to give him 13 for the season. He was drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 draft and his total number of homeruns in his first one and a half years covering 197 games is 8. In 2017 he has hit 13 in 37 games. Reading is a hitters park but five of his 13 blasts have been on the road. He is also hitting .300 on the road versus .280 at Reading. His road OPS (1.026) is better than his home OPS (1.010) so it doesn’t seem to matter where Scott plays.

Luis Urias 2B (Padres) - He does not hit a lot of homeruns but is known for his ability to make contact (25/20 walk to whiff). An eight game hitting streak (14 for 37) has kept his average at .344. Luis has scored 29 runs in 41 games with enough gap power to collect 11 doubles for a .485 slugging. Don’t expect Luis to dazzle you with speed or power. He just makes contact and hopes the ball finds the gaps.

Sam Travis 1B (Red Sox) - Sam had back to back games in which he went deep, then followed that up with a five hit game. The four game multiple hitting streak rose his average to .299. Sam is considered the Red Sox first baseman of the future. Last year injuries limited him to 47 games so this appears to be the bounce back season he was looking for.

Danny Jansen C (Blue Jays) - After hitting .369 with five homeruns and a .963 OPS Danny got his promotion to AA. That has not proved much of a challenge as he rounded up seven hits in his first 16 at bats for a .438 average. His four extra base hits have all been doubles. Danny was a 16th round pick in 2013. His best average going into the 2017 season was .282. The five homeruns he hit early this season has tied his career high (2014 and 2015). Danny has found that magical mystery zone.

Alfredo Rodriguez SS (Reds) - The Cuban with the slick glove is trying to make people notice his bat. A 5 for 5 day in which he drove in four runs raised his average to .278. At 22 years of age he is due a promotion from Low A. Only six of his 45 hits have gone for extra bases, all of them doubles dragging his slugging percentage to .309. In his last 10 games he has hit .439.

Estevan Florial CF (Yankees) - One of the few players born in Haiti, Estevan has gone 6 for 9 in his last two games, crossing the plate five times and driving in three. He tends to strike out too much (50 in 39 games), which has kept his average at .282.

Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - The balls are jumping off his bat. In his last seven games Willie has gone deep five times. Of his last 10 hits five of them have carried over the fence. His average has creeped above .300 (.310). If he can improve his defense Willie could be ready for a major league opportunity. There was some talk of moving him to left field but all 30 of his games have been at second base.

Parker Bridwell RHP (Angels) - The Orioles traded Parker to the Angels for cash after he gave up 8 runs in four innings in his first two appearances with Norfolk. The Angels started him in AA and have now promoted him to AAA after he gave up only two runs in nine innings. In AAA the opposition is hitting him at only a .143 clip and he has a 1.02 ERA after three starts. Only 25 the Angels could have him in the rotation by mid-season if the injuries keep piling up.

Jose De Leon RHP (Rays) - After throwing five innings of no hit ball in the Florida State League the Rays have promoted De Leon to AAA. A couple good starts there could have him on their major league roster. The Rays traded Logan Forsyth to acquire De Leon from the Dodgers but arm issues have delayed the start of his season.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - Each time Jon goes out on the mound another shutout is thrown. His last three times out covering 17 innings he has not given up an earned run. In his eight appearances, seven of them starts he has not given up an earned run. The opposition is hitting just .149 against him and his ERA sits at a gaudy 0.64.

Rogelio Armenteros RHP (Astros) - The Cuban did not give up a hit in five innings of work in his last outing. He has gone 13 innings since he has last given up a run dropping his ERA to 1.25. Rogelio was signed in 2015, pitched for Spain in the 2016 WBC qualifier and is limiting AA hitters to a .181 average.

Austin Sodders LHP (Tigers) - The seventh round 2016 pick has been dominating at Low A with a 5-0, 0.73 ERA. He has only given up runs in two of his seven starts. In a three start span he struck out 28 in 17 innings. Expect a promotion to High A if he continues this domination.

Mike O’Reilly RHP (Cardinals) - Mike was two outs from pitching a nine inning no hitter. A one out single ended those hopes and ended his outing after 8.1 innings. During that time he struck out 10 with only one walk. In six appearances, three of them starts Mike has only walked three hitters in his 26 innings. The opposition is hitting just .156 against him.

Scott Moss LHP (Reds) - Scott threw the first six innings of the first no hitter thrown by the Dayton Dragons. Moss walked three in the outing but it was his second consecutive shutout appearance covering 11 innings, dropping his ERA to 1.91. The win improved his record to 6-1. The Reds drafted Moss in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Corbin Burnes RHP (Brewers) - The fourth round pick of the 2016 draft has dominated the Carolina League. In his last four starts he has only given up one run. His last start he struck out a career high 10 in seven innings. After nine starts Corbin sits at 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a .189 opposition average. He is ready for a promotion to AA.

Prospects Raking in May

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Below are the prospects making a name for themselves in the month of May. Some of them have earned a call up to the major leagues or a promotion to the next level of the minor leagues.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Tapia had a 16 game hitting streak where he saw his batting average climb from .341 to .400. That got him a promotion to the major league club. Tapia does not hit for a lot of power but he spreads the gaps with 9 doubles and three triples during his streak. He can also move around the outfield with the arm to play right and the range to play center. Stolen bases are also in his repertoire with 8 in 10 attemepts.

Josh Ockimey 1B (Red Sox) - Josh was a fifth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014. A nine game hitting streak was recently ended where he drove in nine runs. He’s hitting .327 but his biggest contribution is his RBIs. His 31 RBIs is second in the Carolina League. The power has not been eye popping with just four homeruns, but he has a .529 slugging percentage and a .961 OPS.

Jake Gatewood 3B/1B (Brewers) - Jake was a first round pick of the Brewers in 2014. He has gotten a hit in all the games he has played in May to extend his hitting streak to 22 games. The strikeouts are a little prevalent with 39 in 34 games but his hitting streak has maintained his average at .333. His 13 doubles top the Carolina League.

Alex Jackson C (Braves) - The trade of Alex to the Braves has rejuvenated his career, or perhaps it is his return to catching. The number one pick of the Mariners in 2014 is hitting .312 with 10 homeruns in the pitcher friendly Florida State League. He is 9 for 21 in his last five games. His 10 homeruns and 30 RBIs lead the Florida State League. Alex has bounced between catching and designated hitter.

Brendan Rodgers SS (Rockies) - Raimel is not the only Rockie minor leaguer to raise his average to .400. A 10 game hitting streak in which he hit .488 moved his average from .276 to .400. Brendan has driven in 12 runs during the streak. All this production will only get him a promotion to AA despite the early season struggles of Trevor Story.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is making AAA look easy with a .352 average and six homeruns. His OPS sits at .971 and he has stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts. Despite all that and a hole at second base on the major league roster the White Sox are not calling him up. At least not right now. If he continues to assault AAA pitching they may have no choice.

Victor Caratini C (Cubs) - The Cubs are loaded at catcher. Back to back four hit games by Victor put his average at .361. If Wilson Contreras does not get out of his hitting funk Caratini will make his presence known. The defense is not as strong but the Cubs needs some offense and Victor has shown he can provide that. The second round 2013 pick of the Braves was traded to the Cubs in 2014 for Emilio Bonafacio.

Mauricio Dubon SS (Brewers) - Mauricio was drafted in the 26th round by the Red Sox but was born in Honduras. The Red Sox traded him to the Brewers as part of the Tyler Thornburg swap. A six game hitting streak (11 for 27) has raised his average to .294. Mauricio has speed stealing 30 bases in 2015 and 2016. In only 35 games this year Mauricio has stolen 18 bases in 22 attempts.

Carson Kelly C (Cardinals) - No one questions his defense. Some say his bat is a little soft. Carson is trying to change that with a 15 for 26 seven game hitting streak that has raised his average to .329. With Yadier Molina still functioning behind the plate the Cardinals can be patient with Carson. His bat is also showing a little pop with five homeruns and a .576 slugging percentage.

Ronald Acuna CF (Braves) - The 19 year old Venezuelan was recently promoted to AA and he keeps on raking. After hitting .287 with three homeruns and five triples in the Florida State League Ronald had back to back three hit games in his AA debut. He hit homeruns in each of those games and is now batting .500 after four games. Many compare his quick ascent up the minor league ladder to Andrew Jones.

Travis Demeritte 2B (Braves) - The bat is starting to come to life for Travis. After slugging 28 homeruns last year Travis had just one in his first 28 games of 2017. He has now slugged three in his last five games and a 10 for 23 six game hitting streak has elevated his average to .274. The whiffs are still there with 33 in 33 games.

James Nelson 3B (Marlins) - The 2016 15th round pick is raising eyebrows in the South Atlantic League with his .357 average. A recent 10 game hitting streak (19 for 41) has seen his average climb 150 points. The production is still lacking with only seven RBIs.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike may not solve the Tigers center field problem from a defensive perspective, but there is some juice in his bat. He has hit three homeruns in his last two games to give him five for the year. A four game multiple hit streak (11 for 18) has raised his average to .331. Last year Mike slugged 18 homeruns between High A and AA. The Tigers could be prepared to sacrifice some defense for offense if they continue their struggles in centerfield.

Rhys Hoskins 1B and Dylan Cozens RF (Phillies) - The duo have taken their homerun show to the International League where their 8 homeruns are tied with two others for the league lead. Last year the duo were 1-2 in the Eastern League in homeruns. Rhys is having the more consistent year with a .339 average. His 26 RBIs tie him for the league lead. Dylan is struggling a little bit, but a three game hitting streak of 8 for 15 has raised his average to .221. He has hit three homeruns and driven in five during that streak.

Jorge Mateo SS (Yankees) - Jorge has not been heard from in awhile, with his batting average slumming around the low .200 range. This is his third year in A ball and he would like to get promoted before he throws another temper tantrum. Last night could be the impetus to that after a 4 for 6 day in which he hit his first two homeruns. The whiffs need to be reduced with 39 in just 35 games but he has stolen 15 bases in 17 attempts despite his struggles to get on base (.290 OBA).

Cole Tucker SS (Pirates) - The 2014 first round pick had a day with two homeruns, a triple and a double in a 4 for 6 performance in which he drove in seven. Cole was just a single short of the cycle. A three game multiple hit streak (8 for 16) has raised his average to .285. The seven RBIs in one game almost equaled the 9 he drove in for his first 33 games.

Jack Flaherty RHP (Cardinals) - The 2014 first round pick is dominating AA with a 0.99 ERA in seven starts. The two runs he gave up in his last start is the most he has given up this year. The start previous to that he struck out 12. The opposition is hitting him at .185 and he has only walked 6 in 45 innings for a 0.79 WHIP. Expect a promotion to AAA or the Cardinals soon.

Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) - Mitch has not given up a run in his last three starts covering 18.2 innings. He was taken out of his last start after just 4.2 innings when a bee stung him. The bee may have been confused by the black and yellow uniforms the Marauders wear. For the year Mitch has an ERA of 2.54 with the opposition hitting him at .196.

Ronald Herrera RHP (Yankees) - Ronald gave up his first run after three starts, a span covering 18.1 innings. That puts his ERA at 0.49. The Venezuelan stands only 5′11″ and does not put up the strikeout numbers but the soft contact is evident by the .188 opposition average. This is his third year in AA for the 22 year old.

Luke Weaver RHP (Cardinals) - Another Cardinal heard from. Luke was put on the disabled list after his first two inning start. Returning in May Luke has not given up a run in 13 innings to extend his 2017 scoreless streak to 15 innings. He has yet to walk a batter and the opposition is hitting just .167 against him. If Luke can show he is healthy it could result in a quick promotion to the major leagues.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - The third round 2016 pick only saw one appearance last year. This year in six appearances and five starts he has only given up runs in one of those appearances. His ERA sits at 0.86 and the opposition is hitting him at a .146 clip. He has 40 whiffs in 31.1 innings.

Logan Shore RHP (Athletics) - Logan tossed five innings of no hit ball in his last start. The 2016 second round pick has now lowered his ERA to 2.37. The five inning outing was the longest of the year.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh had his second double digit strikeout game with 10 in five innings. His five walks continue to show his wild side with a 23/52 walk to whiff ratio in 37 innings. This has kept his AAA ERA at 3.62 and given pause by the Royals brass for a promotion. Almost half of his 15 runs were given up in his opening start.

Hot Prospects to Start May

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Many ballparks are promoting Star War giveaways on the fourth of May. These are the players who have the force with them as April turns to May.

Yandy Diaz 3B (Indians) - The first two days of May Yandy drove in 8 runs. He finished the first three days of May 6 for 11 to raise his average to the magical .400 spot. Yandy began the season with the Indians. With a 10/2 walk to whiff ratio he deserves another call back for his bat alone, though a .236 average and 5 for 14 walk to whiff ratio shows major league pitching is a little tougher than AAA. The 25 year old Cuban has been playing some outfield as well as third base.

A.J. Reed 1B (Astros) - Marwin Gonzalez has five more homeruns than A.J. and Gurriel is over .300 so there will not be a lot of first base action for Reed. He did have a 10 for 15 streak that raised his average to .306. He did not hit any homeruns during that streak and has only four for the year so the Astros would like to see more power from his bat before they promote him ahead of Gonzalez or Gurriel.

Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) - Red Sox third baseman have made 12 errors on the year, the most in the league. Rafael has only made three. A five for five day with two homeruns at AA shows a pretty good bat. With a .333 average and a .590 slugging percentage the Red Sox will only show so much patience before promoting him. They will wait for Pablo Sandoval to come back from the disabled list to see if he can perform better. They can always try to null and void the Travis Shaw trade that got them Tyler Thornburg.

Zack Granite CF (Twins) - The Marlins have got Stone but the Twins have got Granite. Myworld will take Granite. Zack started the year on the disabled list but two three hit games in his first five has put his average at .368. Only two of his seven hits have gone for extra bases. Power will be lacking but steals should be prevalent, with three already in his first five games.

Aneury Tavarez RF (Red Sox) - Aneury was a Rule V pick of the O’s. He failed to make the major league roster and the O’s returned Aneury to the Red Sox. After tearing up AA with a .377 average the Red Sox promoted him to AAA. In his first two games he was 5 for 8 with two homeruns for a .625 average. The Red Sox do not have a lot of room in their outfield, but if his bat keeps stinging they will find a spot for him.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Raimel currently has a 11 game hitting streak. In his first 20 minor league games he has failed to get a hit in only one of them. The Rockies outfield is also a bit crowded, especially with Ian Desmond playing some outfield. Raimel had a streak of seven straight games in which he got at least two or more hits. He is currently hitting .376 with seven stolen bases in 9 attempts.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is in the stretches of a 10 game hitting streak that has raised his average to .340. The stolen bases are absent, with just six in 8 attempts but he has shown some pop with five homeruns and a .536 slugging average. Myworld doesn’t expect him to be the in minors for too long, especially with no one blocking him at second base.

Patrick Mazeika C (Mets) - An eighth round player to watch. Patrick hit .354 after being drafted in 2015, leading the Appalachian League in doubles with 27. The 2017 season is seeing some of the same with a recent 8 game hitting streak (14 for 28) raising his average to .361. With a .602 slugging percentage in the Florida State League this could be a player to watch.

Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - Despite Marcus Semian’s injury the Athletics have kept Franklin in AAA where he is raking with a .364 average. The strikeouts are high with 34 in 25 games but the need is there.

Franchy Cordero CF (Padres) - Franchy had the force with him on May 4 with a 5 for 5 day raising his average to .253. He drove in four runs on the fourth and has four triples, four homeruns and four stolen bases on the year.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike also had a 5 for 5 game, but that was the day before the fourth. That raised his average to .310. He has been playing CF in the 24 AA games he has played, giving the Tigers another option for the black hole on their major league club. Mike is better suited for right, but so are many of the other Tiger outfielders. They might as well put someone there with a bat.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh got his second 12 K performance on the first day of May. The whiffs are coming with 38 in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting just .188 against him. Too many walks (16) has left his ERA at 3.81.

Logan Allen LHP (Padres) - Logan is one of the obscure players the Padres got for Craig Kimbrel. In five starts for the Padres at Low A Logan has a 1.50 ERA with 34 whiffs in 24 innings and just a .146 opposition average. Manuel Margot is already making his presence felt on the major league roster but Logan could be there in a few years.

Hot Prospects at the Close of April

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Hard to believe that the baseball season has already finished April. Some of those hot prospects we have identified have already been called up. Others have been promoted. Even though April has ended there are still five more months of baseball to be played, with those coveted September call ups a reward for an outstanding season.

Gleyber Torres SS (Yankees) - Gleyber spent a little time on the disabled list. He was hitting .237 with nary a homerun. Upon his return the ball started jumping off his bat. His last two games he has gone 5 for 7 with his first homerun and four RBIs. Now his average has climbed to a more respectable .292. He still needs to work on his stolen base efficiency, going 2 for 4 in stolen base success rate.

Elias Diaz C (Pirates) - Elias is noted for his superb defense. A four game hitting streak in which he has gone 7 for 15 with a homerun and six RBIs, plus a Francesco Cervelli toe injury has gotten him a call up to the Pirates. For the season Elias is hitting .305. Last year Elias had trouble staying healthy, playing in only 34 games. The year before he won the Captains Choice award for being the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues.

Yanio Perez RF (Rangers) - Yanio has five straight multiple hit games to go with an 8 game hitting streak that has his average shooting to .348. The Cuban has also homered in three consecutive games and in his last four games driven in 12 runs. A 1.095 OPS could result in a promotion to High A for the 21 year old. Yanio signed a minor league contract with the Rangers in September 2016.

Danny Jansen C (Blue Jays) - The 22 year old is raking in the Florida State League. A 4 for 5 day put his average at .416. The 16th round pick in 2013 has been a bit of a surprise with the bat. The last two season injuries have limited him to less than 60 games.

Jon Kemmer OF (Astros) - Jon was another late round draft pick, drafted by the Astros in the 21st round in the 2013 draft. In his last three games Jon has been raking at a 10 for 15 clip with two homeruns and seven RBIs. At 26 Jon is a little old to be considered a prospect, but 5 got 5 days are enough to get him major league attention.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - In a couple years Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy will be gone and the Orioles will be looking for a replacement. Ryan could be that guy, especially after a 4 for 5 performance in which he hit a homerun and drove in four. The homerun was his fifth to go along with his blistering .323 average.

Garrett Stubbs C (Astros) - The 8th round 2015 pick has been smoking in the Texas League. A five game hitting streak in which he has gone 10 for 20 to raise his average to 341. Garrett has homered three times in his last two games, which equals his number for the year.

Trent Clark RF (Brewers) - Trent was a first round pick of the Brewers in 2015. The Brewers outfield is crowded in the minor leagues. Last year Trent hit just .231 with hamstring issues limiting his season to 59 games. He got off to a slow start this year with a .183 average entering the Sunday game. A 5 for 6 performance raised that average to .239.

Luis Guillorme SS (Mets) - Luis is noted more for his glove and takes a back seat on the prospect ladder to Amed Rosario. A 4 for 5 day put his average in AA to .342, almost 100 points higher than his average from last year. Luis has no power with just one homerun as he enters his fifth year in pro ball. Only five of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases, all of them doubles.

Dustin Fowler OF (Yankees) - Dustin hit for the cycle on Sunday, going 5 for 6 with a walk off homerun in the 11th inning to complete the cycle. A 9 for 13 spurt has raised his average to .293 with a .573 slugging average. Dustin was an 18th round pick in 2013 that is starting to show that he could be a five tool player.

Anderson Franco 1B and Carter Kieboom SS (Nationals) - On the same day Anthony Rendon drove in 10 runs in the Nationals 23-5 win over the Mets, the Hagerstown team beat the Lexington Legends 22-4 with Anderson and Carter combining for 10 RBIs. Carter exploded for three homeruns and five RBIs on his 5 for 7 performance. Anderson only hit one homerun but he drove in five runs in a 4 for 6 day.

Sean Newcomb LHP (Braves) - Not a day noted for pitching highlights, but Sean had a game with 11 whiffs in seven innings of work. He allowed just one hit. This is his second shutout performance in a row in which he has only allowed three hits in 12 innings. After his first three starts his ERA was 5.65. Now it is 3.08.

Austin Sodders LHP (Tigers) - Austin also pitched his second shutout start in a row and has three in the four games he has started. In the six inning outing he struck out 10 and allowed just three hits. He has struck out 19 in his last two starts covering 11 innings. Austin lacks a power packed pitch, with a fastball that sits at a pedestrian 88-92. He gets outs with command of his pitches.

Hot Prospects for April 24

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A couple players identified as hot prospects, Christian Arroyo and Cody Bellinger were recently promoted to their major league team. They will not be the last.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Tapia hits .300 no matter where he plays. The one concern is his lack of power. While he has speed his defensive tools are not ideal for center and his absence of power makes a corner position suspect. A rocket of an arm makes right field his best fit. Tapia slapped three hits yesterday to increase his average to .356. The Rockies outfield could get crowded with the improved health of David Dahl and Ian Desmond so expect Raimel to get most of his time in AAA. He did play two major league games early this season finishing 0 for 7.

Andrew Pullin LF (Phillies) - Reading is a hitter’s ballpark. Last year Pullin hit 10 homeruns in 46 games there. Yesterday he slugged two to put him at five for the year. That is halfway towards his production of last year. One of those homeruns was a grand slam to give him a big 5 RBI night. Pullin has gone 11 for 19 in his last four games to raise his average to .381. Last year in his 46 games at Reading Andrew hit .346.

Joe Rizzo 3B (Mariners) - Rizzo made a late debut to the season going 4 for 5 in his second game to raise his average to .625. A 2 for 4 day the next day dropped his average to .583. Rizzo was a second round pick of the Mariners in 2016. The one big criticism with Rizzo is how much power can he pack in his 5′9″ frame.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - More shutout innings for Duplantier. In four appearances, three starts he has gone 20.1 innings without allowing an earned run. Yesterday he threw five innings, allowing just three hits, striking out 8 without walking anyone. Opponents are hitting .121 against him. Jon was a third round pick last year appearing in only one inning. He did not allow a run in that inning.

Gregory Soto LHP (Tigers) - In his third start Soto tossed six shutout innings. That increases his 2017 shutout streak to 17. Gregory struck out eight and walked two. His fastball can touch the mid-90s but sits more comfortably in the low 90s. Expect him to get promoted soon to High A.

Grayson Long RHP (Angels) - Grayson got a quick promotion to AA where he threw six shutout innings in his first start. He only allowed one hit, a leadoff single to start the game but did not allow a hit after that.

Stevenson Back to Back with the High Fives

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Andrew Stevenson CF (Nationals) - When you get five hits in a game you tend to get noticed. When you get five hits in back to back games everyone starts talking about you. Andrew went 10 for 12 in back to back games as his team scored 25 runs in their two wins. They won a 16-14 13 inning game against Hartford. Stevenson flashes speed but lacks power. Of his 10 hits three of them were doubles giving him four extra base hits for the season. When you’re hitting .447 that is not much of an issue. Stevenson was the Nationals second round pick in 2015. They did not have a first round pick that year.

Ryan McMahon 3B-1B (Rockies) - In a 16-14 game there is bound to be a little offense and McMahon matched Stevenson with a 5 for 7 day on the losing end of that game. He drove in six runs and was a double short of the cycle. The five hits raised his average to .413 but an 0 for 3 the next day dropped it back down to .388. With third base occupied by Nolan Arenado the best opportunity for Ryan to make the major leagues with the Rockies is to find another position. The Rockies have used Ryan seven games at first and four games at second.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - The Tigers would like to find someone to play centerfield. Gerber may not be that answer with the glove but the Tigers are using him there in AA. He does have a pretty good stick with his four hits on Monday raising his average to .302. An 0 for 4 day the next day dropped it down to .277. Earlier in the season Gerber struggled with 9 whiffs in 13 at bats. His power is borderline for a corner so he could end up a fourth outfielder.

Dominic Smith 1B (Mets) - Myworld was not impressed with what we saw of his glove during spring training, but he is raking it with the bat. A 3 for 5 day in which he hit his second homerun raised his average to .396. If back problems continue to plague Lucas Duda at first base Dominic could find himself with an opportunity to play for the Mets. Many think he lacks the glove and the power to play the position. He does have the potential to hit for average.

Ronald Guzman 1B (Rangers) - The Rangers shelled out $3.45 million to sign the 6′6″ Guzman. A lack of range forced a move from the outfield to first base where his absence of power is a concern. That power started to develop last year with 16 homeruns. This year he is hitting .373 with 16 of his 19 hits singles. He did club his second homerun on Monday night. If he can get his arms extended the ball can travel a long way.

Lewis Brinson CF (Brewers) - Injuries have curtailed the start of the season for Brinson. He has a hit in each of his six games played, with a 4 for 6 day yesterday raising his average to .357. During that game he drove in five runs with a double, two singles and a homerun. Brinson was acquired from the Rangers in the trade for Jonathan Lucroy.

Ryan Boldt CF (Rays) - Boldt was a second round pick of the Rays last year. In rookie season ball he struggled with a .218 average. The Rays were not deterred and this year they promoted Boldt to the High A Florida State League. Last night he went 4 for 5 with his first homerun and a double to drive in six runs. The four hit game almost doubled his hit total for the year raising his average to .306.

Jack Flaherty RHP (Cardinals) - Jack was a first round pick in 2014. A lack of overpowering stuff has kept him under the radar. His fastball sits in the low 90s but at 6′4″ the Cardinals hope to see more as he matures. Jack pitched 7.2 innings of shutout ball on Monday, allowing just two hits and striking out 9. In three starts this year he has allowed only one run and the opposition is hitting just .129 against him. With those kind of results the Cardinals could promote him from AA to the majors before the year is out.

Dakota Chalmers RHP (Athletics) - Dakota had a nice four inning relief outing in which he allowed just one hit and struck out 10 of the 13 hitters he faced. Dakota struck out the first six hitters he faced when he came on to pitch in the fifth inning. Up until then it has been a struggle for Dakota with an ERA of 9.00 coming into the game.

Dane Dunning RHP (White Sox) - Dane could end up being the best pitcher the White Sox acquired in the Adam Eaton trade. The 2016 first round pick had another stellar outing, not allowing a run in his six innings of work. After three starts that lowered his ERA to 0.45 with an opposition average of .153. He has a 1/26 walk to whiff ratio in 20 innings.

Gregory Soto LHP (Tigers) - Gregory is a 6′1″ Dominican who can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, but it sits mostly in the low 90s. That is pretty good for a lefthander, especially one who can throw a pretty good breaking ball. In two starts Gregory has yet to give up a run with his three hits allowed giving him a .086 opposition batting average. If he continues to shine Gregory could rise up the Tigers prospect ladder.

My World’s Top 100 - 80 - 71

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

80. Dylan Cease RHP (Cubs) 2.03 - He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school dropping him to the sixth round where the Cubs selected him in 2014. He’s pitched the last two years in short season ball and reports have him hitting well into triple digits (103) with his fastball, sitting in the high 90s. Last year he struck out 13.3 hitters per nine innings. The real test will be full season ball in 2017 to see if he can maintain that velocity. Dylan also needs to work on his secondary pitches (curve and change) and improve his command.

79. Jesse Winker OF (Reds) 2.05 - Winker should carry some power but a wrist injury last year prevented him from showing it. If the power does not develop this year it will be tough for him to make a major league roster. His defense limits him to left field. The only contribution he can make to a team is with his bat driving in runs. In 2015 he did drive in 55 runs but he also walked 74 times. In 2016 he walked as many times as he struck out (59). Jesse can hit, but the Reds would like to see more balls carry over the fence.

78. Sean Newcomb LHP (Braves) 2.07 - Sean was a first round pick of the Angels in 2014. The Angels traded him to the Braves in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Sean misses bats (10.7 whiffs per nine) or gets hitters to make soft contact (.216 opposition average). Last year lefties hit better against him than righties. His fastball sits in the low 90s, plenty of velocity for a lefthander, and he throws a curve and change. One weakness in his game is a lack of control, walking a batter every two innings, resulting in an unattractive ERA (3.86).

77. Isan Diaz 2B/SS (Brewers) 2.17 - The Puerto Rican broke onto the scene with a .360 average in Rookie ball in 2015, his OPS sitting at a majestic 1.076. With an average arm and lack of speed his best position appears to be second base. Last year his average dropped to .260 but he did hit 20 homeruns. His slugging average dropped .180 points but the numbers he put up in Rookie ball would be difficult to sustain. Expect him to be an offensively oriented second baseman in the major leagues. In 2017 he will start the season in High A.

76. Justus Sheffield LHP (Yankees) 2.33 - Justus was the Indians first round pick in 2014. He was one of the many prospects the Indians traded to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. He appeared in one AA start for the Yankees and struck out nine hitters in four shutout innings. With a fastball that borders along the mid 90s neighborhood Justus should be tough to hit. A 5′10″ frame does not give the downward action he needs to intimidate hitters which could explain why he is more hittable (.251 opposition average) than he should be. He will start the 2017 season in AA where he will work on improving his secondary pitches (slider and change) and throw more strikes.

75. Yohander Mendez LHP (Rangers) 2.48 - Yohander had a nice break out year last year, rising all the way from High A to the major leagues. His strikeout numbers decreased every level he advanced, but in AAA he dominated with a 0.57 ERA in seven appearances, four of them starts. The opposition hit him at a .118 clip. This led to a promotion to the Rangers where he did not fare as well (18.00 ERA, .333 opposition average). An increase in velocity to the low 90s with his fastball added more separation from his changeup. At 6′5″ he also has a good downward plane on hitters. The 2017 season should see him start at AAA.

74. Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) 2.63 - Luis was the number one pitcher for the United States under 18 team, resulting in the Rangers drafting him in the first round of the 2014 draft. The Rangers traded him to the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Ortiz has good velocity on his fastball (mid-90s) complementing it with a nasty slider. Finding a third pitch could enhance his swing and miss capability, which currently sits at an uninspiring 7.1 per nine innings. He also got hit a little bit in AA (.290 opposition average). At 20 years of age he is still young so a repeat in AA would not be a surprise.

73. Delvin Perez SS (Cardinals) 2.7 - There was a lot of talk Delvin would be a top five pick in the 2016 draft. Coming from Puerto Rico many compared him to Carlos Correa. A positive drug test dropped him to the 23rd pick in the draft. At this point his glove is ahead of his bat. His defense and speed may be better than Correa, though he committed 17 errors, however his power at this point falls far below Correa. He failed to hit a homerun in over 150 Rookie league at bats. The power could come, but it will not be near what Correa can produce. The Cardinals could rush him and promote him to Low A after his .294 rookie season or they can continue his instruction in extended spring training and have him repeat a month in Rookie League before being promoted to Low A.

72. Jake Bauers 1B/OF (Rays) 2.85 - A seventh round pick in 2013 Jake is showing that he can provide some lefthanded pop to a lineup. At AA he slugged 14 homeruns with minimal swing and miss activity. With Casey Gillespie ahead of him and slated for first base the Rays gave Jake some outfield time. His speed is not great to cover a lot of ground in the outfield, but with enough repetition he could fit in the corner. Jake was acquired from the Padres in the Wil Myers trade. He should start the 2017 season in AAA.

71. Matt Manning RHP (Tigers) 2.98 - Matt was the Tigers 2016 first round pick. Coming out of high school he has a few years of minor league ball to swim through before he makes the Tigers. A 6′6″ frame and a mid to high 90s fastball resulted in him averaging 14.1 whiffs per nine innings at rookie ball. The fastball is his premium pitch but Matt can sling a decent curve and change. The 2017 season will see him begin it at the Low A level

30 Teams in 30 Days - Tigers

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Overview - The team wants to get leaner and younger. They have been trying to trade some of their large contracts but are not finding any interest. Last year the Tigers finished eight games back of the Indians and just missed making it as a wild card team. They are a year older now and have not done much to improve their team. The younger players will benefit from that year but the Tigers roster is dotted with too many 33 plus players. The sustained health of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and one more year of continued excellence from Justin Verlander is needed for this team to compete with the Indians. They have subtracted Cameron Maybin from the roster and have yet to fill that hole in centerfield.

Strengths - Even at 40 years of age Miguel Cabrera will continue to hit. At 34 he hit .316 with 38 homeruns. The bat remains productive but the glove is beginning to slide. Victor Martinez mainly slots in the DH position but he is the primary back up for Cabrera at first base. His glove is worse but he can still swing the bat at 38 years of age. The corner outfielders in Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez have the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. Upton remains a mystery, always producing less than expected, but 31 homeruns is not something to sneeze at. J.D. Martinez was injured for a good part of the year so having him healthy for the whole season is a plus. Myworld is not enamored with his defense but we’ve read some reports stating he is a good defensive outfielder. That is not what we have seen. Ian Kinsler is another player getting long in the tooth, but at 34 he was able to slug 28 homeruns. The Tigers have no speed in their lineup so they rely on Ian to get on base from his leadoff spot. The rotation has an opportunity to be good but it must rely on the continued excellence from Justin Verlander. no sophomore slump from Michael Fulmer and a return to excellence by Jordan Zimmerman. The last two spots will be determined in spring training.

Weakness - Their defense is not going to be very good. Centerfield is probably their biggest hole. They recently acquired Mike Mahtook who can handle the position defensively. He has yet to prove his worth with the bat. If he doesn’t hit the Tigers may have to go with Tyler Collins or JaCoby Jones. Neither is noted for their blazing speed to cover ground in centerfield and they both lack proven bats. The bullpen has always been a problem. Last year Francisco Rodriguez fixed the hole with his 44 saves. He doesn’t have much of a fastball anymore and we’d be surprised if he can replicate those results. If he falters the Tigers could turn to hard throwing youngsters Bruce Rondon, who achieved some success in limited opportunities, or rookie Joe Jimenez who combined for 28 saves at three levels of the minor leagues. More than likely they will turn to a more experienced arm in Justin Wilson. There is no proven closer behind Rodriguez should he struggle.

Impact Prospects - Joe Jimenez will probably begin the season in AAA but expect him to be called up early to reinforce the bullpen. He struck out more than 12 hitters per nine innings and limited the opposition to an average of less than .200 at three different levels of the minor leagues. Dixon Machado has been hanging around for a long time. His bat is suspect but his glove is smooth. The Tigers could give him an opportunity as a utility player this year. The outfield is crowded with corner outfielders and some of the best offensive players in the minor league system are corner outfielders. Steven Moya had a .790 OPS in a brief major league trial but he is poor defensively and has trouble making contact. Mike Gerber has the better glove but lacks the power you would like to see in a corner outfielder. He also lacks the rangeto cover the ground needed from a centerfielder. Christin Stewart is probably still a year away but he hit 30 homeruns last year. Like Moya his defense is suspect with an arm that will limit him to left field. He does draw a lot of walks. Jacoby Jones is one of the centerfield candidates, but he can also play third base. His defensive tools for center are probably lacking and he failed to hit last year but he could find a role.

Prospects to Watch - Matt Manning was their first round 2016 pick. He has a good mid-90s fastball and 6′6″ height that could make him an ace in a couple years. Beau Burrows was their first round pick in 2015. He is not as tall as Manning and his fastball is a tick less in velocity but his secondary pitches are a little more developed. He should start the season in High A and could be ready in 2018. Myworld is fascinated how a catcher at 6′6″ will handle his position. Grayson Grenier has shown a decent bat but his defense at this time is a work in progress. He could start the season in AAA and if injuries ravage the Tigers catching staff he could be called up for the 2017 season. Myworld is not too impressed with the quality of the Tigers minor league system.

Expected Finish - The Tigers will again finish in second and miss the wild card festivities. They will win less games than the year before and could have a fire sale at the trade deadline if they fall too far back from playoff consideration. Myworld feels they will be in that purgatory of too close to sell but too far to have any reasonable chance of contention.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch AL Central

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Myworld continues to look at prospects who will have a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States. Today myworld takes a look at the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Breakout Prospects - (Yoan Moncada 2B, Lucas Giolito RHP, Reynaldo Lopez RHP) - The White Sox are rebuilding which creates a process where prospects can make an immediate impact. Yoan struggled in his first exposure to major league pitching. The Red Sox used him at an unfamiliar position, third base because second base was occupied by Dustin Pedroia. The White Sox have no such blockage at second base. A good spring could get him on the roster when the season begins or the White Sox could save some service time by giving him more time in AAA. Yoan has power and speed that will have an impact on a major league offense. Reynaldo Lopez performed better at the major league roster last year than Lucas Giolito. The White Sox acquired both in the Adam Eaton trade. Giolito was considered the best pitching prospect in baseball last year as Moncada was considered the best offensive prospect, but Giolito has struggled when exposed to major league hitters. His fastball can hit the high 90s with his 6′6″ frame bearing down on hitters and his curve is above average. His command was non-existent with the Nationals resulting in a abhorrent 12/11 walk to whiff ratio in 21.2 innings. Reynaldo Lopez does not have as much upside and at 6′0′ does not have the size of Giolito, but he performed better against major league hitters. His mid-90s fastball had more swing and miss qualities than Giolito. The curve is of less quality and he struggled with his command as well when facing major league hitters (22 walks in 44 innings).

Prospects to Watch (Alec Hansen RHP) - It will be interesting to see if the 6′7″ righthander can replicate his 2016 performance. Alec was virtually unhittable with rookie league hitters batting below .100 against him. When promoted to a full season league he got tattooed a bit more in his two starts, giving up 11 hits in 11 innings. His fastball sits in the mid-90s but can tick close to three digits with an above average slider to mix in to confuse hitters. His season did end early because of arm soreness. With Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez also set for future rotation status the White Sox pitching looks solid for years to come despite the absence of Sale and soon to be disappearing Quintana..

Cleveland Indians

Breakout Prospect (Greg Allen CF) - Myworld is not enamored with the centerfield capabilities of Bradley Zimmer. He is probably best suited for right. Tyler Naquin also is not a centerfielder. This should provide an opening for Allen by mid-season. He has game breaking speed which allows him to cover a lot of ground. The fact that he is also an Aztec colors my bias. The power is lacking, but he has the plate discipline to take a walk (77/78 walk to whiff ratio) to stir the drink for the power hitters. He will probably start the season in AA with a major league call up expected once it is realized there is too much green for Naquin and Zimmer to cover in centerfield.

Prospect to Watch (Tristan McKenzie RHP) - Myworld was awed watching the 6′5″ lanky right hander with the prey mantis limbs have his way against Rookie League hitters. He was not quite so dominant once promoted to Low A, but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .195 clip. He also had a 22/104 walk to whiff ratio with his low 90s fastball which should continue to grow as he develops physically. He already has developed two above average pitches in the curveball and change. It will be interesting to see how his fastball velocity increases as he matures and whether that will be enough to continue has mastery over higher level minor leaguers.

Detroit Tigers

Breakout Prospect (Joe Jimenez RHP) - The Tigers are always looking for a closer. They thought they had one with a triple digit fastball in the name of Bruce Rondon, but he has not provided the answer. Now they are looking at the mid-90s fastball of Joe Jimenez, who saved 30 games at three different levels last year. Joe is built for the bullpen, with only two pitches in a fastball and slider. The start of the season will see him in a setup role, but if the Tigers continue their search for a closer the Puerto Rican righthander will be given an opportunity.

Prospect to Watch (Grayson Greiner C) - Not because he is a great prospect, but because his 6′6 inch frame is a bit unusual for a catcher. Despite his size he is not noted for his power. The bat has some potential, but he will sit around .250 with homerun numbers in the teens. His arm is solid and whether his tall frame can weather the assaults a hot summer day can bring upon a catcher will be the real test. Matt Wieters made it as a tall catcher, but the list is small.

Kansas City Royals

Breakout Prospect (Alec Mill RHP) - He has made his comeback from Tommy John surgery to have some success in the minors. The Royals are a little short on pitching from a depth perspective. It seems natural for the righthander with the low to mid-90s fastball to be one of the first to be called upon to help the rotation. Last year he dominated in AA but struggled a bit when promoted to AAA. In 9 less innings he allowed six more balls to leave the park which ballooned his ERA by two runs. Alec has an assortment of quality pitches to bode well to achieve success at the major league level.

Prospect to Watch (Meibrys Vilaria C) - The Colombian with the .376 average was exceeded by no one. He also complemented that with 28 doubles and a 1.042 OPS. The big question with Meibrys is whether his defense tools can develop enough to be used as a catcher. He was a shortstop when signed by the Royals in 2013 so his arm is strong. Whether he can block, frame and call pitches will be decided at the higher levels. If he doesn’t make it as a catcher the Royals will find another spot for him if he continues to hit over .350.

Minnesota Twins

Breakout Prospect (Stephen Gonsales LHP) - Last year Gonsalves dominated, with his ERA improving from 2.33 to 1.82 after a promotion from High A to AA. The opposition struggled to make barrel of the bat contact on the ball, hitting him at a .179 clip. He stands 6′5″ with a fastball that can buzz to the plate in the low 90s. His change may be his best pitch making the fastball appear to have more velocity. The Twins will probably start him in AA but their rotation is full of holes. Gonsalves is their most advanced pitcher in the minors who has achieved success at each level he has pitched. Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2013 he has yet to have an ERA higher than 3.19 and his career opposition average is .204.

Prospect to Watch (Aaron Whitfield OF) - The Orioles drafted a softball player out of New Zealand and tried to make a baseball player out of him but they had little success. Aaron Whitfield was a national team level softball player when the Twins drafted him. He has had a better transition to the game of baseball than Pita Rona hitting .298 last year at the Rookie Level. He has also shown some pop in the Australian Baseball League where he hit three homeruns in a double header last weekend, improving his average to .330 and his OPS to .933. The big test is when he gets promoted to full season ball and the adjustments pitchers make to him after they have seen him hit a number of times.

Rosters for Tigers and Blue Jays Based on Domestic Drafts

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

The two cities are across the border from another. After visiting Toronto I was almost denied entry coming through Customs in Detroit because I had difficulty stating the pledge of allegiance. Maybe they thought I was a draft dodger. This was years ago, before passports were required for all reentries.

The Blue Jays have done a good job building a slew of starting pitchers, with the 2010 draft alone capable of filling 60 percent of most teams rotation. The Tigers had some good early years and Justin Verlander was drafted in the first round of 2004 so he doesn’t count on this roster, since we decided only to go back to 2005. That makes the rotation very short, though it is ironic they have two starting pitchers in their rotation now that were drafted by the Blue Jays.

Detroit Tigers

2005 - Cameron Maybin (1) OF, Matt Joyce (12) OF, Burke Badenhop (19) RHP, Alex Avila (34 - DNS) C, Zach Putnam (38 - DNS) RHP
2006 - Andrew Miller (1) LHP, Casey Fien (20) RHP, Kevin Chapman (42 - DNS) LHP
2007 - Rick Porcello (1) RHP, Danny Worth (2) UTL, Charlie Furbush (4) LHP, D.J. LeMahieu (41 - DNS) 2B
2008 - Alex Avila (5) C, Ryan Lollis (30 - DNS) OF
2009 - Jacob Turner (1) RHP, Giovanni Soto (21) LHP
2010 - Nick Castellanos (1) 3B, Drew Smyly (2) LHP, Rob Brantley (3) C, Bryan Holaday (6) C, Kyle Ryan (12) RHP
2011 - James McCann (2) C, Tyler Collins (6) OF, Curt Casalli (10) C, Chad Smith (17) RHP
2012 - Jake Thompson (2) RHP, Drew VerHagen (4) RHP, Devon Travis (13) 2B
2013 - Corey Knebel (1) RHP, Buck Farmer (5) RHP, Joe Mantiply (27) LHP
2014 - Mike Gerber (15) OF

Roster

C - James McCann, Alex Avila, Curt Casali, Bryan Holaday, Rob Brantly
1B - Danny Worth
2B - D.J. LeMahieu, Devon Travis
3B - Nick Castellanos
SS - no one
OF - Cameron Maybin, Matt Joyce, Ryan Lollis, Tyler Collins, Mike Gerber
SP - Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly, Jake Thompson, Jacob Turner
RP - Burke Badenhop, Zach Putnam, Andrew Miller, Casey Fien, Kevin Chapman, Charlie Furbush, Giovanni Soto, Kyle Ryan, Chad Smith, Drew VerHagen, Corey Knebel, Buck Farmer, Joe Mantiply

Toronto Blue Jays

2005 - Ricky Romero - (1) LHP, Brett Wallace (42 - DNS) 1B
2006 - Travis Sanders (1) OF, Cole Figueroa (9 - DNS) SS, Jonathan Diaz (12) SS, Brad Mills (22 - DNS) LHP
2007 - J.P. Arencibia (1) C, Brett Cecil (1) LHP, Brad Mills (4) LHP, Mike Rzepczynski (5) LHP
2008 - Eric Thames (7) 1B, A.J. Jimenez (9) C, Danny Farquhar (10) RHP, Dallas Beeler (37 - DNS) RHP
2009 - Chad Jenkins (1) RHP, James Paxton (1 - DNS) LHP), Jake Marisnick (3) OF, Ryan Goins (4) 2B, Ryan Schimpf (5) 2B, Aaron Loup (9) LHP, Yan Gomes (10) C, Drew Hutchinson (15) RHP, Daniel Webb (18) RHP
2010 - Aaron Sanchez (1) RHP, Noah Syndegaard (1) RHP, Justin Nicolino (2) LHP, Sam Dyson (4) RHP, Sean Nolin (6) LHP, Dalton Pompey (16) OF, Kris Bryant (18 - DNS) 3B
2011 - Joe Musgrove (1) RHP, Daniel Norris (2) LHP, Anthony DeSclafani (6) RHP, Luke Weaver (19 - DNS) RHP, Aaron Nola (22 - DNS) RHP, David Rollins (24) LHP, Kevin Pillar (32) OF
2012 - Marcus Stroman
2013 - Matt Boyd (6) LHP, Kendall Graveman (8) RHP

Roster

C - Yan Gomes, J.P. Arencibia, A.J. Jimenez
1B - Eric Thames, Brett Wallace
2B - Ryan Schmpf, Ryan Goins
3B - Kris Bryant
SS - Jonathan Diaz, Cole Figueroa
Of - Kevin Pillar, Jake Marisnick, Travis Snider, Dalton Pompey
SP - Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, James Paxton, Justin Nicolino, Daniel Norris, Marcus Stroman, Matt Boyd
RP - Ricky Romero, Brad Mills, Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepczynski, Danny Farquhar, Dallas Beeler, Chad Jenkins, Aaron Loup, Drew Hutchinson, Daniel Webb, Sam Dyson, Sean Nolin, Joe Musgrove, Anthony Desclafani, Luke Weaver, Aaron Nola, David Rollins, Kendall, Graveman