Aaron Westlake ranked #12 Prospect in NYPL

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As we updated a few days ago, two Tigers prospects made Baseball America’s league top 20 prospects list in the Gulf Coast League (Brenny Paulino, Danry Vasquez). Monday, B.A. put out the top 20 for the New York-Penn League, and this time the Tigers landed only one representative on the list in first baseman Aaron Westlake. Westlake was named as the 12th best prospect on the list by B.A, who compile their lists by talking to managers and scouts around the league, along with their own opinion.

Westlake, who was drafted by the Tigers in the 3rd round in the 2011 draft, joined the Connecticut Tigers down the stretch for their run towards the playoffs that fell short on the last day of the season. He is known for having a plus bat, but hit just .264 for the C-Tigers with modest power.

I was a little surprised we didn’t see a couple of other names on the list, or frankly instead of Westlake. Two guys in particular come to mind in Tyler Collins and Eugenio Suarez.

Collins, a 6th round pick this year, has strong all around skills. While he doesn’t have one standout tool, he is a little above average across the board. Collins runs well, can hit for some power, and judging by his start as a professional, could hit for some average as well. Collins batted .313 for the C-Tigers, slugging the ball to the tune of an .893 OPS. He stole 6 out of 7 bases he attempted, and showed strong contact ability, striking out in just 10% of his at-bats.

Suarez, while he didn’t come out of nowhere, certainly made a name for himself this year. The somewhat diminutive middle infielder showed some surprising pop this summer, advancing to Connecticut after destroying the Gulf Coast League. Suarez has a chance to be a plus defender with the glove and has some stolen base ability as well. Suarez hit just .250 for the C-Tigers, but he had an OPS of .749, and that isn’t bad at all for a 20 year old in that league.

The last guy I didn’t mention earlier that had a fantastic year is Dean Green. While he was probably the best hitter on the C-Tigers, he doesn’t profile as highly as some of the other guys. Green in my opinion is a better hitter than Westlake, however, his body type and lack of athleticism limits his positional value, and it looks like the only thing he can do is DH. He may make it in that capacity, but he needs to get into better shape going forward. His ability to adjust to pitches is outstanding though, so it should be fun to see what he can do next year.

Even though the Tigers only had one guy on BA’s list, I think this is the most prospect laden team that they have had in the NYPL in recent memory.

Congratulations to all Tigers prospects that make these lists!

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