Sep 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Nick Castellanos (30) breaks his bat hitting a single against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Grading on the Curve Releases Detroit Tigers Top 15 Prospect List

Earlier this week Grading on the Curve, FanSided’s Minor League site, released their 2014 Top 15 prospect list for the Detroit Tigers.

I’ll post the names here, but head on over to Grading on the Curve to read their analysis and 2014 prognosis for each of the 15 players listed.

I always enjoy reading the impressions of an outsider — someone who isn’t as intently focused on just the Tigers as we are — they often take a different viewpoint of the system. They see things that we’re too close to see, but also sometimes miss things because they’re also paying attention to 29 other systems. No one set of rankings can be “perfect” but I think they all bring something unique and worthwhile to the discussion. These particular rankings aren’t exactly the way I’d rank them, but I think Jay Blue did some cool things here.

First of all, I really like the risk of ranking Knebel fourth in the system. It takes guts to rank a reliever that high, but I think Knebel has a chance to be a very good (or even dominating) reliever in the big leagues, and he might not be that far off. We could see him as early as this season. That being said, Knebel in the fourth spot is also a reflection of the Tigers’ system, and the lack of top-tier talent therein.

I also sort of like that Hernan Perez is all the way down at #14. He’s had some big league experience — and might be the first guy called up in 2014 — but I don’t yet see him ever hitting enough to be a regular in the big leagues (especially if he’s also just a second baseman defensively).

One thing I don’t really agree with is Endrys Briceno in the #7 spot. Pretty much every scout-type that has seen him loves his velocity, loves what his body could be if he fills out, but I was a bit disappointed in his results last year in the Midwest League. At 21, he wasn’t young for the level, and although the velocity did impress at times (I saw him probably twice), he didn’t miss a ton of bats (he struck out only 5.0 per nine innings). That being said, I feel like I’m the lone dissenter on Briceno, so you should probably trust the majority that like him.

Anyway, I think this was a job well done. A very worthwhile read, so I suggest you all check it out. One could definitely pick some nits with the 2014 projections (Eugenio Suarez won’t be moved off shortstop this year), but it’s quite good overall.

Tags: Detroit Tigers

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