As the Tigers short season squads begin to take action, and now that the draft has passed, it’s time for me to re-asses the status of the Tigers prospects. Ranking prospects is typically a volatile business, due to performance, injuries, and development, and this list is no different.
Without further delay…
20. Dixon Machado (SS)- It may seem strange to see Machado on this list, given that he has pretty much been hurt all year. However, the few glimpses I have had of him in spring, and couple that with a weak system, and I have to put a defensive whiz at SS at 20. He has hit well in his very short stint, and does appear to be physically stronger, which has been a challenge for Machado.
19. Devon Travis (2B)- If we were going on performance alone, Travis would be much higher. He has nothing left to accomplish in low A, and is likely to see a 2nd half promotion at some point. Travis doesn’t have any standout tools, but he does pretty much everything well. He is very likely a major leaguer at some point, but one that doesn’t project as much more than solid.
18. Casey Crosby(SP)- Crosby is falling like a stone down this list. At some point he has to show an ability to throw strikes and his time is running out to do so. Relief may be in his future at this point.
17. Austin Schotts (OF)- I am not surprised that Schotts struggled at West Michigan which means we in the Tigers prospect rankings should’ve curbed our enthusiasm a little. However, he is still a talented kid, just not as polished as some wanted to believe, and he may just be on a slower path at this point.
16. Drew Verhagen (SP)- Verhagen has a strong arm, and he has the good numbers this year at Lakeland to suggest he has some talent. In fact, Verhagen just got promoted to AA Erie. Some caution needs to be exhibited, because Verhagen struggles to put away hitters via the strikeout, and needs more effective secondaries to be successful.
15. Jake Thompson (SP)- Thompson also takes a tumble on the list as well. Part of that is that the Tigers injected some new draft picks into the equation, but the main reason is word that Thompson had lost a little velocity this spring. While that isn’t unusual for a guy his age going into his first full season, he is an example of the volatility of prospect status.
14. Eugenio Suarez (SS)- Suarez did well enough early to get a promotion to AA Erie, and while he isn’t lighting the world on fire offensively, he is holding his own. However, his defense hasn’t been good, and I’m starting to wonder if Suarez is beginning to reach his ceiling. Looking more and more like a reserve to me.
13. Tyler Collins (OF)- Collins is really struggling in AA, and to me, it appears he has tried to change who he is as a player, and it isn’t working. Collins looks like he is more concerned with pulling the ball and hitting the home run to me this year, and while he wouldn’t be the first to fall in love with hitting some homers, he needs to get back to an all field approach, because the rest of the tools aren’t loud enough if he isn’t hitting.
12. Steven Moya (OF)- Moya is another guy that is having trouble staying healthy, but his massive power potential will get him ranked this high on the Tigers list. He has the chance to be a star, but the swing and miss concerns could keep him from ever being a regular. Has shown an aptitude to learn though. Just needs to stay on the field for an extended period of time.
11. Kevin Ziomek (SP)- The first of the Tigers 2013 draft picks to show up, Ziomek projects as a mid rotation starter. He has a nice three pitch mix, with a fastball in the low 90′s that gets on hitters quick, a good breaking ball and a good change as well. At the very least Ziomek could likely be nasty on lefties out of the pen late in games.
*Wanna discuss Tigers prospects. Feel free to leave a comment below.