Baseball America’s top 20 prospect lists for each league in the minors is being trickled out over this week and next week. B.A. compiles the lists through the use of scouting reports and talking to the managers of the teams involved in the league. In general, they do a good job of identifying quality talent, and as far as lists go, these top 20’s are an interesting look into what baseball people think about the players in their leagues.
The only league thus far that has been released that involves the Tigers is the Gulf Coast League. On that list, the Tigers had 2 players in the top 10. Who were they?
Pitcher Brenny Paulino was named the 4th best prospect in the league this summer. Paulino is a hard throwing right handed pitcher, who also throws a curve and a change. In 11 appearances, 8 of them starts, Paulino finished the GCL season with an ERA of 2.36. In 45.2 innings, Paulino struck out 45 batters and walked 18. In this 45 innings, he only surrendered one home run on the season, and held opponents to a batting average of just .202.
One of the more interesting things concerning Paulino is his size. At just 18 years old, Paulino is already 6’4″ and 170 lbs, leaving room for more physical growth and projection on his frame. For a pitcher that already sits in the mid 90’s with his fastball, there is potential there for him to gain even a little bit more.
The 2nd Tigers prospect to make the list was 1.2 M dollar Venezuelan bonus baby from last year, Danry Vasquez. Vasquez played this past season at 17 years old, and held his own quite nicely. At 6’3 and 170 lbs, the youngster has room to grow himself, and projects to be a corner outfielder down the road. A left handed hitter, Vasquez impressed scouts with his ability at the plate.
While Danry’s numbers weren’t eye popping, you have to consider that even for the short-season GCL, he is considered to be young for that league. Vasquez hit. 272 for the Tigers in 54 games. The encouraging thing is that in 206 at-bats, the youngster struck out just 34 times, though he only walked 7 times as well. Vasquez didn’t slug a ton, which isn’t surprising given that he has a lot of physical development left. His OPS for the season was just .655, and his slugging pct. was .350. I expect that all of his power numbers will increase substantially over the next couple years.
While the Tigers organization has placed guys on these lists before, this marks the first time since I have been following Baseball America that I have seen two prospects in the Gulf Coast League top 10. Paulino and Vasquez show a lot of potential, and it’s not just the Tigers organization that thinks so.
It will be interesting to watch these two develop over the next couple years.