Prospect Email Questions Answered


I put it out there a bit ago that I would be willing to answer questions about prospects in a “mailbag” type post, and since I have gotten a few of them, I wanted to answer the couple that I got. I would like to do this more often once the season gets going especially, but would love to do this in the off-season a couple of times as well. You can email me at I will try to answer your question, and if I can’t I will do my best to find the answer. If you have a suggestion to have a guy profiled that might be out of our top 50, I would consider those as well.

Thanks to those that sent questions. We all appreciate the interest in the site.

Without further delay……

Q. I have followed you since your days at the Detroit baseball page site and have enjoyed your profiles. Have you ever had someone get upset with you over a profile, or your opinion on a player? -Marc

A. If I have, I don’t particularly remember the incident. I have had people disagree with me on guys before, but that is part of the business I guess of watching prospects. I did have a family member of one of the players I profiled this past season contact me and compliment me on my profiles. Up until that point, it never crossed my mind that players themselves or even family members might read the profiles I put up. I was pretty new to the blogging world at that point, and it hadn’t struck me that this could happen. This could obviously be awkward at times, because I don’t say I think everyone is going to make it, and I have to talk about weaknesses as well as strengths. I just try to be honest. I am wrong on guys, but I am right on a lot as well. I guess, most people seem to appreciate the effort of putting together information on these guys.

Q. John, or James. Since it seems like there is a lot of focus on your site about acquiring a 2nd baseman or a 3rd baseman, I have two questions for you guys? Who is the Tigers best 2nd base prospect? And do you think Castellanos stays at 3rd base? -Craig

A. Good questions. Okay, 2nd base. The Tigers clear best prospect at 2nd base at this point is Hernan Perez, who played this past season at West Michigan. I do like Hernan, but he looks to be three years away at this point, so I believe the Tigers could afford to sign somebody on the market, and hope that Perez is ready to take over at that point. Without giving too much away, he will be someone in the top 50 that we will talk about. Also, I have heard good things about a Latin player, Harold Castro, but I will have to see when he comes stateside.

As for Castellanos, I’ve been to West Michigan to see him, but unfortunately, I haven’t personally got to watch him play defensively all that much to give a personal opinion on that. I can give you the opinion of some people I know that have seen him more than I have, and they don’t believe he will stick at 3B. Footwork and instincts being the issues. He has the arm. I don’t know. I think they should keep him there. Instincts can get better, the arm is there, and even if he isn’t the most mobile after his body fills out, he only needs to field the position at an average rate in my opinion. The bat will carry him.

Q. Andy Oliver or Casey Crosby? Who do you guys like better and why? – Dave H.

For me, it’s Casey Crosby. I didn’t even hesitate on that one. Not sure why, since they have almost the same profile, but I do like Crosby’s secondaries better. His injury history is obviously more of a concern, but I think he is the better pitcher in the end. Both could end up relievers easily though.

Now, in the effort of full disclosure, I must admit that I have never liked the 2nd round selection of Andy Oliver since the day he was drafted. At this point, he is pretty much what I expected. A guy with a good arm, little command, and not a go to breaking ball or change up. If there are follow draft geeks out there, they may remember the Tigers being high on a pitcher out of high school in Kansas in Garret Gould. In fact, the Tigers were floating him and Mike Trout as potential 1st round selections. They went with Turner of course, but Gould was still there in the 2nd when they picked. I can see why the Tigers got Oliver, lefties that throw that hard as starters don’t grow on trees, I just always wished they went with Gould. Oliver missed development time in college, and when he came back, it looked like it. Gould pitched in the Midwest League this past season for the Dodgers.

Q. Who do you see as a sleeper for next year, or a guy that breaks out? I think a guy like Brenny Paulino could break out. There seems to be a lot of talk about him. -Nate

A. Honestly, I would say, he has kind of broken out to some extent already, and you are going to see him on a bunch of Tigers prospect lists. I think I will answer this question more on a guy that Tigers fans might have heard of but I expect to get back into the prospect discussion. At least a little bit. That is Wade Gaynor. I don’t really like how Gaynor profiles. His BB/K numbers were terrible this past season in Lakeland, but there are some tools there and he is a guy I could see bouncing back a little. He has some pop, and there is some athleticism as well. The Tigers might be served best by putting him in LF or something defensively, but his bat could bounce back. He had a solid 2010 with the stick. Said at the time, he was a reach for a 3rd round pick, and that is playing out thus far. Maybe he gets things to click ala Brennan Boesch though.

*As a note, I answered all of the questions and I didn’t send any to James Chipman. If you have some for James, you can feel free to email me those, and I can forward them. -John