One of the more popular things about All-Star week in recent years has been the Futures Game. Before the big league All-Stars take the field on Tuesday July 10th, the minor league guys do their thing on Sunday July 8th. This season, the rosters are as loaded as ever and include two of Detroit’s farmhands. Nick Castellanos and reliever Bruce Rondonwill be on different sides in this game, even though they are currently Erie Seawolves teammates.
Castellanos is essentially a no-brainer pick for the contest in the Tigers system, hovering around .400 much of the season between Lakealand and Erie, while Rondon’s selection is a little more surprising. Not that he isn’t having an excellent year, but the way it started, not a lot of people would’ve expected the transformation taking place this season. Rondon is blessed with a fantastic arm, one that reaches up to triple digits on the radar gun, but has always had trouble with command. While 10 walks in 24 innings isn’t superb, for a guy that walked 34 in 40 innings last season, it’s a huge step forward. It’s a big reason why Rondon was recently promoted to Erie from Lakeland, and puts him on track to be in the conversation for a Tigers bullpen spot in 2013.
*Speaking of promotions, it’s that time of year where we may see a little roster movement amongst the lower levels. We’ve already seen Nick Castellanos and Bruce Rondon move up, and as 2012 draftees sign and get put on short-season rosters, we may see more movement going forward. Who is most likely to move? Probably Avisail Garcia from Lakeland to Erie at some point, but maybe not a whole lot more. The Tigers in the past have been hesitant to push guys out of West Michigan during the season, making moves for Eugenio Suarez and Steven Moya a little unlikely at this point. The only guy I could see moving out of West Michigan could be Dean Green when he gets back from injury.
*Reliever Austin Wood has decided to hang up the spikes. Wood was a 5th round selection in the 2009 draft, and is most famous for wearing his arm out at the University of Texas. Still, since the Tigers love drafting relievers, they took him in the fifth round. It sounds as if Wood just didn’t have his heart in baseball anymore, which means it’s probably a good thing that he stepped away. He wasn’t one of the Tigers top prospects, but could’ve eventually been a situational lefty type at the big league level. I wish him luck in whatever he decides to do.
*I will be doing a mid-season top 20 prospects list that will include the guys that have signed from the 2012 draft. I’m not sure when it is going to go up, but look for that soon on MCB.
*The Tigers signed an over-slot draft pick in the last few days. The name? Dylan LaVelle. LaVelle is a good get for the Tigers, and is considered more talented than last year’s over-slot signing Brett Harrison. They also inked high school athletes Rashad Brown and Miguel Paulino. These guys should all be added to the GCL roster in the next few days or so, making that team even more fun to watch.
*Logan Ehlers, the Tigers 20th round selection, is the last big get for the Tigers. Well, at least out of guys in the later rounds. He was an 8th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of high school. Hudson Randall of Florida and Devon Travis of Florida State are two guys the Tigers are really going to want as well. Travis is still playing the College World Series, so that one isn’t happening until he is done, but Randall is the last pick in the first 10 rounds that hasn’t signed yet.