Yesterday MLB.com released their annual top prospect list, expanding to the top 100 this year. The Detroit Tigers placed three players in the top 100 for the 2012 season list. Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo tabbed Jacob Turner 15th best, Nick Castellanos 51st and Drew Smyly 82nd overall in this seasons list. To be honest, I anticipated Turner as a no brainer in the top fifteen with Castellanos potentially cracking their top 100. It was refreshing to see both Castellanos and Smyly crack the list though. All three are certainly well deserving of the distinguished honor.
I encourage you to follow the above link and check out the entire Top 100 List. If you’re short on time though, and looking for a Cliff’s Notes view of what Mayo had to say about the Tigers prospects, follow the jump….
So, what did Mayo have to say about the Tigers future front-line starter Jacob Turner?
Turner has quickly become a fairly polished all-around pitcher, impressive given that he won’t turn 21 until May. He can crank his sinking fastball up to the mid-90s, generating many groundouts. Both his curve and changeup aren’t as consistent as his fastball, but they’ve improved vastly since he came out of high school. They both have the chance to be above-average offerings, at least, and he showed more willingness to go to them over the course of 2011. With a good feel for pitching that belies his years, he’s just about ready to help out in the Tigers’ rotation.
Castellanos may be a couple years away from Motown but Mayo seems equally impressed with his progress and potential.
Castellanos will play at age 20 in 2012, looking to build on what was a very strong first season of pro ball. He’s a good natural hitter who should continue to hit for average, especially as he gains better pitch recognition/plate discipline, something he did as he surged in the second half of 2011. He has good raw power and many of last year’s 36 doubles will become home runs as he matures. He played shortstop in high school but has moved over to third, where he’ll be more comfortable long term.
I was excited to see Drew Smyly get some well deserved credit from MLB.com. Mayo had this to say about the southpaw starter,
Smyly is the prototypical advanced college lefty, one who relies on pitchability more than pure stuff. He has a four-pitch mix — fastball, cutter, curve and changeup — all of which are at least Major League average. He throws a lot of strikes and has a good amount of deception, keeping hitters off-balance well. If he can stay healthy — he has some injury history — he’s a fast-tracker who should be ready sooner rather than later.
He doesn’t have the ceiling of some prospects, but with his command and polish, he should be ready for the life of a No. 4-type starter soon.