So far I have looked at the Tigers top 50 prospects heading into 2013, and I have looked at several guys that are just outside of the top 50 looking in. Today, I thought I would look at some guys that I believe could either sneak into the prospect discussion for the Tigers, or guys that I feel might be in for a big jump in status. Hopefully, some of these names will be new to you, and we will be able to keep you up to date next summer with how these guys are doing.
Without further delay…sleeper prospects for 2013.
Aaron Sayers- SS
Sayers, whom I don’t know a ton about at this point, has the potential to be the biggest of sleepers in the Tigers system. Sayers is a guy who has a chance to be a plus bat, though he may eventually move to 2B. There is some buzz that Sayers will play stateside in 2013, and will get a chance to show us if the bat is for real. He is currently 18 years old and plays in an Australian baseball league, because he is Australian. Sayers has a projectable body and many think he will grow into some pop.
Charles Gillies- Starting Pitcher
Gillies is somewhat of an afterthought as far as the 2012 draft goes, but he really shouldn’t be. He is the owner of a top notch sinker that sits in the low 90′s, and generates a boatload of ground balls. In his 2012 debut in short season ball, he also showed an ability to strike out hitters, getting a batter per inning on average. Gillies in 42 innings only gave up one home run and threw about 4.75 ground balls for every out through the air.
Rashad Brown- Outfielder
Brown is a soon to be 19 year old outfielder that was signed out of high school in the 2012 draft. Known more for being a good athlete than baseball player at this juncture, Brown has flashed a little more baseball skill than some of the guys of this nature the Tigers have taken in the past. He hit .250 for the Tigers in the GCL in 2012, but did strike out 29 times in 100 bats, while walking just 7. Either way, he is a guy to at least keep an eye on.
Victor Padron- Outfielder
Padron is an 18 year old Venezuelan outfielder that the Tigers signed in 2012. Padron does have a pretty slight build but has some speed, and more importantly has an idea at the dish when he steps up to the plate. He isn’t likely to come stateside in 2013, mostly because he didn’t play a lot in 2012, but there is enough athleticism there to warrant watching Padron and how he develops in 2013.
Ignacio Valdez- Outfielder
The Tigers signed Valdez to a six figure deal late in 2011 if I remember correctly. Currently, Valdez is still just 17 years old, but has a ton of projection on his 6’3″ frame. Like any player that age, he has to work on recognizing breaking pitches, and define his strike zone, but there is enough about Valdez that is plenty intriguing.
Orvin Tovar- Outfielder
Tovar is a 19 year old Venezuelan outfielder, who I have to believe we will see stateside in 2013. While not physically projectable, Tovar is put together pretty well, and has displayed in Venezuela some things that are intriguing. In 2012, Tovar had around a 10% BB rate and a 10% K rate, suggesting that for a youngster he has some modicum of plate discipline. Tovar runs well, and hits for some pop, posting an OPS of .827 last year.
Matt Davenport- Pitcher
Davenport is a huge pitcher at 6’8″, but only weighs in at 200lbs. Currently, the stuff is pretty average, but if Davenport can add a little mass and strengthen his body and delivery, he could potentially get more velocity out of that frame. Mechanics can be difficult to repeat for big guys, but the intriguing thing for Davenport is that he is a strike thrower. He also gets good downward plane in his delivery and generates a good amount of ground balls.
Juan Alcantara- Starting Pitcher
Alcantara is an 18 year old pitcher out of the Dominican Republic, and maybe the deepest sleeper on this list, though I have pulled out a bunch of names in the back third of the Tigers prospect list. Anyway, what I like about Alcantara is simply the frame. Young guys with his 6’4″ and 195lb frame have a tendency to develop velocity, and that gives Alcantara a chance. His results as an 17/18 year old this summer were pretty solid, and he showed a propensity to get ground balls.
Well, there you have a bunch of new names to follow. It should be noted that these are tagged sleepers for a reason. The likelihood that most of these guys make even a splash in AA is pretty small. But each one of these guys has something that is intriguing, and if things break right, and with some improvement, they certainly could be moving up the Tigers prospect list by the end of next year.