The Detroit Tigers Minor League affiliates seasons are officially in the books and the off-season is in full swing. With another season completed, the time has come for John Verburg and I to announce our 2012 MCB Detroit Tigers Top 50 Prospects List. Over the last month John and I have combined our lists to form a final product for our readers. Each players production, ceiling, floor and positional value ultimately determined their overall ranking. The finalized prospect list will be rolled out five at a time on my end covering each players background and a description on why they’re ranked that high and/or low. John will follow with a more detailed scouting report on each of the prospects.
Be sure to check back frequently and join the discussion as we work our way through the 2012 MCB Detroit Tigers Top 50 Prospects List.
2012 MCB Detroit Tigers Top 50 Prospects: #4 Danry Vasquez
#4 Danry Vasquez
Height: 6′ 3″
2011 Team: GCL Tigers
2011 Stats: .272/.306/.350/.655
8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 30 RBI, 7 BB and 34 SO
2012 Projected Team: Extended Spring Training w/ call-up to Class-A West Michigan
In July of 2010 the Detroit Tigers spent $1.2 million inking then 16 year-old Venezuelan prospect Danry Vasquez. Despite his age Vasquez was instantly considered a top 20 prospect for the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers immediately brought Vasquez stateside for the Fall Instructional League in Lakeland to help familiarize him with the American game. He returned to Venezuela for Winter ball posting a .270 average and a .329 on-base percentage.
Now 17-years-old, Vasquez returned stateside last season to play outfield for the Tigers in the Gulf Coast League. On the surface his numbers may appear pedestrian but trust me, his performance was anything but. Vasquez finished his first season batting a respectable .272 over 206 at-bats. He also tallied 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 30 RBI. Although he drew just 7 walks, Vasquez demonstrated solid discipline for his age, striking out in just 15% of his plate appearances. Fifty-four games is definitely a small sample size of data. Regardless, the results are encouraging considering the fact that Vasquez was one of the youngest players in the league.
Despite his age, Vasquez is big and strong with above-average athleticism and coordination. His speed is probably an average grade at best right now but he’s a smart runner that could become a pest on the base-paths in the future.
Vasquez already possesses the ability to spray line drives with authority from foul pole to foul pole. Although his power is currently more of the line drive variety, his strong frame and already above-average bat speed forecast over the fence power in the near future. While its difficult to project numbers, scouts see Vasquez as a good candidate to hit 25 home runs annually. I’m a bit higher than most on his hit tool but I see him being an above-average hitter down the road.
Defensively Vasquez projects to be an above-average corner outfielder. He already projects to have a plus-arm and his accuracy and route running skills are said to be improving. He’s definitely not polished in the field but you’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t see Vasquez as an asset down the road.
Why He’s This High/Low:
The majority of all Tigers Top Prospect lists will feature Vasquez in their top ten. Perhaps we’re a tad higher on him than most but Vasquez is a special prospect.
On the surface his numbers probably appear pedestrian to most folks. His accomplishments last season were amazing though when you consider in his age. His work ethic and ability to follow instructions and improve his game were an encouraging sign. Vasquez possesses the tools and raw ability that make his lofty projection seem obtainable. It’s reasonable to expect peaks and valleys throughout his journey though so expectations must be tempered.
As for next year, Vasquez could possibly begin next season in Class-A West Michigan. It would be an aggressive assignment but then again we’re talking about the same organization that threw Daniel Fields to the wolves in the FSL his rookie season.