In July of 2010 the Tigers spent $1 million on the highly touted 16 year-old Venezuelan outfielder Danry Vasquez. This season, the projected five-tooler began his professional career playing for the Gulf Coast League Tigers.
Despite being just 17-years-old, the 6’3″, 169 lb. left-handed batter finished the season batting .272. Vasquez tallied 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 30 RBI this season. Although he only drew 7 walks in 224 at-bats, Vasquez demonstrated solid discipline for his age, striking out in just 15% of his plate appearances.
The numbers are definitely a small sample size of data. Nonetheless, the results are encouraging. He’s definitely far from Motown but his progress is worth tracking. Vasquez joins a promising cast of raw, high ceiling prospects under 20-years-old in the Tigers system like top prospects Nick Castellanos and Daniel Fields. As well as emerging lower floor prospects like Dixon Machado and Steven Moya.
I realize that it’s difficult to get excited about a prospect with an ETA around 2015. However, the Tigers recent aggressive behavior in young position players is encouraging. Looking beyond college and sometimes beyond America is essential when your team is no longer a perennial loser.
Keep an eye on Danry Vasquez as he continues to earn his stripes down on the farm.