Minor Moves: Tigers Sign Three
By John Verburg
In an effort to keep you up to date with all of the Tigers moves, I wanted to relay to you all that the Tigers have re-signed two minor league free agents of their own, Argenis Diaz and Audy Ciriaco, and a third from the Braves in Matt Young. The Matt Young signing is the 2nd minor league pick-up that I am aware of after the Tigers got pitcher Darin Downs a few days ago.
Of course minor league moves aren’t of the earth shattering type, but it’s still Tigers information, in what seems like a pretty quiet off-season thus far. After all, the Tigers didn’t waste any time last year. Thus far, the Tigers haven’t been rumored to be in on too many free agents, leading to the speculation that they may be looking to improve through trades this off-season.
Anyway, let’s take a look at these three guys and what they bring to the table.
Argenis Diaz was brought into the organization last year from the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent, and for those unfamiliar with him, you can check out a scouting report on him here. Last year with the Toledo Mud Hens, the light hitting middle infielder posted a .279 BA with the Mud Hens, and more importantly a .356 OBP. Diaz did miss some time with injury, but he had a solid enough year to warrant coming back. He is a good defender and played multiple positions for the Mud Hens last season including, 2nd base, 3rd, and SS. He isn’t super slow or anything but lacks the speed you would expect from a slap-hitter, stealing only 3 bases last season.
Audy Ciriaco has always been the enigma wrapped in a riddle prospect. I personally have put him on my “breakout prospect” lists for probably 3 years in a row now, and I have always been disappointed by the production. His main issue has always been a lack of patience at the plate, Ciriaco is essentially allergic to taking a base on balls. However, he doesn’t strike out a ton either. Ciriaco spent most of last season with the AA Erie Seawolves and produced a slash line of .277/.301/.415, and teased us all again with a real good stretch in the middle of the summer. He runs pretty well, has a strong arm at SS, and has some power potential as well. At this point, Audy is still only 24 years old, even though he has been in the system forever. I don’t think I will have him on any breakout list this season, but I am still glad to see that the Tigers brought him back.
The last minor league signing is the one I am least familiar with, which makes sense because he was in the Braves system. I do know that Matt Young got some playing time in the major leagues last year with the Braves. Young can play multiple positions in the outfield as well as some 2nd base. Young is a small guy at just 5’8″ and is a left-handed batter. With the Braves in 52 at-bats, he only had 10 hits, but he did show some solid discipline at the dish with a 4/6 BB/K ratio in that short span. In the minors, the 29 year old hit .273 with an OBP of .372. Young also stole 17 bases in AAA, and that followed a season with 37 SB in 2010.
Young appears to be a guy that the Tigers will use for the Toledo Mud Hens, and if an injury or two occur at the big league level, we might see him for a cup of coffee. The numbers suggest a pretty useful player if a major league team limits his at-bats. He appears to be a guy that has decent speed, an ability to get on base, and plays multiple positions. There is little to no power in Young’s bat, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be. I don’t see Young getting a real shot in spring training necessarily, but he could impress enough to get a call up at some point.