It’s been a little bit since I went through the Tigers system and did an update for everyone. Some good, and some bad stuff to talk about.
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) 39-58
As you can tell by the record, it hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Mud Hens this season, and the Tigers front office recently said goodbye to one time prospect Ryan Strieby. I’ve watched Strieby play quite a bit in the minors, and was sad to see him go, and it would’ve been nice to see what he could have done if not for his wrist issues.
On a positive note, Casey Crosby has gone down and pitched pretty well since his demotion to Toledo from Detroit. In his last 25 innings Crosby has only given up 5 runs. As for the other lefty prospect, Andy Oliver, things aren’t going as well, and he was just recently put on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue.
Offensively, catching prospect Rob Brantly has slipped quite a bit to a .252 batting average for the Hens, showing he probably isn’t ready for prime time yet. Outfielder Ben Guez continues to be real solid, and is posting a .287 batting average with an OPS of .870. Outfielder Jamie Johnson was a recent promotion from Erie as well, and Cale Iorg went to the disabled list with a concussion.
Erie Seawolves (AA) 45-51
What was once the most boring team of the Tigers minor league franchises has now become one of the more interesting to follow. That’s of course because of Nick Castellanos, Avisail Garcia, Bruce Rondon, and James McCann all getting promotions. Castellanos has been there a while, and he still needs some work, but he is getting work in the outfield. Garcia has come up and done alright, showing a little power while hitting .245. McCann is in over his head offensively at this point, hitting just .173. Rondon has been nothing short of excellent. In 13 games, he has still yet to give up an earned run at this point in AA.
1B Jordan Lennerton is worth mentioning because of his power numbers, but his swing has quite a few holes there. Still, his OPS is impressive at .857, and he has 18 home runs.
Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+) 50-39
Lakeland continues to win despite all of the promotions I’ve mentioned already in the Erie update. Currently on offense, the leader is still Tyler Collins. Collins has been a consistent performer this season, and is hitting .289 with an OPS of .790. His BB/K rate is good as well, and he has been successful on 11 of 13 stolen bases. Curt Casali has come in and replaced James McCann’s production nicely. Casali is hitting .282 with an OPS of .791 after his promotion to Lakeland. Don’t be surprised if at some point Casali passes McCann in the prospect tree. Daniel Fields hasn’t been good this season, but he has been pretty consistent as of late. Fields is hitting .255 on the season.
Pitching wise, Brian Flynn has been the best starter for Lakeland this season. Flynn is 8-4 with an ERA of 3.71. Alex Burgos was the most highly rated of the starting pitching prospects for Lakeland this season and has struggled all year with walks. However, Burgos has been much better as of late, and in his last 4 starts he has gone 24.1 innings and only allowed 7 runs. He has still walked 12 in those innings but that is actually an improvement.
I still need to mention the season Tyler Clark is having. Guy has been unbelievable, posting an ERA of 0.79 for the season. Clark has to work on his command, but he is striking out well over a batter per inning as well. He has 47 in 34.1 innings this season. 2012 4th rounder, Drew VerHagen, made his debut with Lakeland tonight, going 3.2 innings and giving up only one run.
West Michigan Whitecaps (A-) 13-12 2nd half
As I’m writing this, SS Eugenio Suarez has gone walk-off for a win, and his 4-4 night is just another example of why he is the best prospect right now on the Whitecaps. On the season, Suarez is hitting .322 and his an OPS pushing .900. He defends well, runs well, and has a little pop, as evidenced by his 29 doubles. OF Steven Moya has landed on the disabled list again, and is likely to miss the rest of the season. He may have Tommy John on his throwing elbow. 2012 draftee, OF Jeff McVaney has gotten off to a hot start with the ‘Caps, hitting .359 in his first 10 games with the club.
Pitching has been led all year by starter Tommy Collier. He is 8-6 with a 2.50 ERA for the ‘Caps in his 19 starts. Young starters Marcelo Carreno and Wilsen Palacios have solid all year as well, both have ERA’s in the threes, and have shown very good walk rates. Carreno strikes out a decent amount of batters, and is probably the best prospect on the club starting pitching wise. Lefty reliever Jade Todd has had a good year, posting an ERA of 1.86, while striking out 46 in 38.2 innings.