From time to time on MCB I like to bring you a quick update on all of Detroit’s minor league teams, and any interesting news that I come across regarding those teams.
So let’s just jump right into it.
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Things haven’t gone so well in Toledo, but their roster has been borrowed from liberally in Detroit this year, so that is to be expected. Toledo has gone 4-6 in its last 10 games.
What’s Interesting: Mud Hens sluggers Brad Eldred has left the team and signed a deal in Japan. Eldred was never going to be much more than a 4A player in America, and this might be a good career move for him. Rob Brantly got promoted a bit ago because of Alex Avila‘s injury and is doing well. He is hitting .348, but without any power. And last but not least, Cale Iorg has joined the team once again, after sitting the early part of the season out with injury.
Erie Seawolves (AA)
Erie finished the first half of the season a half game out of 2nd place, finishing 6-4 in their last 10 games.
What’s Interesting: Nick Castellanos, who joined the club a couple weeks ago has been injured. I am still not sure what it is, but it supposedly isn’t very serious. He is just 9 for 40 so far in his time in Erie. 2B Niuman Romero continues to produce, hitting at a .320 clip. Maybe a shot in Toledo is in order? In 123 innings, Erie’s top 4 relievers have walked a whopping 79 batters collectively. Jared Gayhart has walked 24 in 29 innings, while Michael Morisson has walked 25 in 31.
Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
The Flying Tigers figured to be an interesting team to start the year, and that has played out. They finished second in their division, and could stand poised for a playoff spot at seasons end with a strong second half.
What’s Interesting: Despite all the firepower the Lakeland offense has, one bright spot on the team has been their bullpen. And it’s not just Bruce Rondon doing well, the lesser known guys have performed well. Matt Crouse has an ERA of 1.45. Victor Larez checks in with an ERA of 1.98, and Tyler Clark has an ERA of 1.04. None of these guys has particularly impressive stuff, but they are getting the job done.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Low A)
The Whitecaps went into the All-Star Break winning 6 of their last 10, and finishing 3rd in their division, just a half game out of a playoff spot. With 8 teams getting in, they still have a shot in the 2nd half to make the post-season.
What’s Interesting: The continued emergence of Latin prospects Eugenio Suarez and Steven Moya. If it wasn’t for these two at the top of the order, and the injured Dean Green and slugging Curt Casali, the Whitecaps might never score. Suarez and Moya were both All-Stars, and deservedly so. Casali looks like at the very least he is becoming a viable potential major league backup catching prospect.
Connecticut Tigers (Short Season)
As you can see by the record, the C-Tigers have just gotten started.
What’s Interesting: The C-Tigers may not boast a lot of top prospects for the Tigers, but it will be fun to watch Danry Vasquez and Brett Harrison in the middle of that order. Edgar Corcino is another guy to watch in that lineup. As for pitching, word is Edgar De La Rosa and Endrys Briceno in particular are worth keeping an eye on.
Gulf Coast League Tigers (Short Season)
Like the C-Tigers, this team has just gotten underway.
What’s Interesting: There are certainly enough players on this roster to at least follow. The outfield alone has to be one of the more athletically gifted in minor league baseball, so it will be interesting to see if they can turn that into production on a baseball field. Harold Castro is a name I mentioned way back in the spring to watch out for. Pitching wise, Jake Thompson should get some work in for the GCL team.
There is only four teams in this league, and the Tigers currently hold down 3rd place.
What’s Interesting: The top of the order for the VSL team is raking. Both Jose Zambrano and Javier Betancourt are well into the .300′s with batting average and have solid plate discipline numbers. Catchers Franklin Navarro and Jose Ovalles are slugging. The three projectable righties that I highlighted in the VSL preview are all holding their own as well. Eudis Idrogo is pitching well in a relief role, giving up just one run in 13 innings thus far.
The Tigers are in last in their San Pedro De Macoris division, though nobody really cares about records at this level anyway.
What’s Interesting: Adelin Santa is nowhere to be found playing yet. I will try and do some digging, but haven’t heard why as of yet, and if I have, I’ve forgotten. Of the guys playing, SS Gregoris Hidalgo, who as a 6 figure signing for the Tigers is doing well. He owns and OPS of .831, and is showing a BB/K rate of 7/8. So far, so good, for Confessor Lara and his transformation to pitching. He has allowed just one run in 9 innings, walking just one batter and striking out five.