Prospect Profiles #45-41
By John Verburg
As James mentioned, all of our prospect lists are going to be followed by myself doing mini-scouting reports on all of the prospects on the list. Most of these scouting reports are compiled from various sources of information including; scouting reports, sources around baseball, first-hand reports, statistical data, and most importantly James and myself actually seeing a majority of the players. I feel by incorporating all of these things together, we can give you some of the most accurate Tigers prospect information out there.
I am by no means a professional scout, but will say I have been following Tigers prospects, and prospects in general for over 10 years now, and have picked up enough information along the way to have an informed opinion.
Anyway, myself and James hope you all enjoy the series and the information……..
#45 Robbie Weinhardt
Weinhardt should be familiar to most Tigers fans at this point, however, his stay in the big leagues in his first few stints has been pretty short, so I will be happy to go over his stuff for those that don’t know. Weinhardt is essentially a two pitch pitcher, throwing a fastball and slider. His fastball tends to sit in the 90-92 mph range and has good sink on it. He throws his fastball for strikes in general, however, he is wild within the zone sometimes, and that is where he gets hit. If he throws his fastball up in the zone, it flattens out and gets hit. His ball has more life in the bottom of the zone. His slider is thrown at around 83-85, and has pretty good bite, and generate some swings and misses. He just needs to stay on top of it to get the downward movement more often.
Outlook: 6th and 7th inning guy all the way, but he has maybe used up his opportunities in Detroit given the sheer number of guys the Tigers could try.
#44 Justin Henry
Henry is a left-handed hitting utility player that has had some success with the bat in the minor leagues. Henry doesn’t possess one standout tool, however, he does have good skills across the board with the exception of power. Henry’s best asset in the batters box is his selectivity, controlling the strike zone well enough to draw more free passes than he he strikes out. He uses the whole field well, and can spray balls into the gaps pretty regularly allowing for his above average straight line speed work for him. On the bases, his lack of stealing instincts would limit him to the 15 SB a year category despite running well. Defensively, Henry is probably best in CF or 2B, but can be used almost anywhere but SS. He carries a solid glove with him everywhere, and that is more than likely what gets him to the pros.
Outlook: Henry is going to intrigue Tigers fans because of his potential on base ability, but to me, he is reminiscent of Don Kelly in almost every way, but Henry isn’t as good a defender as Kelly in my opinion. He controls the zone better than Kelly, but he doesn’t project well enough to consider him more than a 25th man. Henry, if he gets an opportunity, is going to have to make the most of it right away.
#43 Tony Plagman
I am not sure what to make of Plagman honestly. He seems to be a professional hitter with a good idea up there, but doesn’t hit for average. He seems to have some strength on his frame, but doesn’t hit the homers you would expect. There is some pop there, but 18 homers from a bat only 1st baseman/DH, probably isn’t going to cut it. Where he did excel is driving in runs, as he had 97 for Lakeland this year. What this profile should tell you is that Plagman is in general a pull hitter, who doesn’t generate enough bat speed from his swing, relying on his raw strength to muscle balls out of the park instead. He does the job with men on base though. As for defense, there isn’t much there. He is stiff around the bag at 1st base, although not terrible, and doesn’t have the athleticism to really move elsewhere.
Outlook: Plagman in my opinion is a good organizational soldier more than likely. There is enough raw strength there and plate discipline for him to start jacking 25-30 homers regularly, but he will need some swing adjustments to make that a reality. And not everyone can do that successfully. Double A ball should be a test for him.
#42 Michael Morrison
Morrison returned in 2011 after suffering through Tommy John in 2010 and had a successful season for the Lakeland Tigers. In 46 innings, Morrison struck out 50 batters featuring a two pitch combination of a fastball and slider. Morrison is a power pitcher, who at times can touch mid 90’s, but now mostly lives in the 91-93 area. His fastball lacks a little bit of movement, and in general he struggles to command it low in the zone, but it has good life on it. His slider is typically thrown in the low 80’s and can generate some swings and misses with good, late, sharp break. He is getting better at throwing the slider for strikes, which he will have to more often as he moves up the ladder against advanced hitters.
Outlook: Morrison was derailed a little bit by the Tommy John, so there is going to be some importance on his 2012 in AA. He has shown an ability to get strikeouts facing high A ball hitters, but doesn’t have the pure late inning stuff you look for at higher levels. I would profile him much like Robbie Weinhardt at this point. A potential 6th or 7th inning guy.
#41 Jamie Johnson
Johnson is intriguing because he has two things the Tigers kind of need. On base ability, and he is a lefty hitter with some speed. The skills he does have however in terms of tools don’t necessarily present themselves on the field enough. While Johnson controls the zone really well, he doesn’t take advantage of his hitters counts with any authority. Johnson doesn’t drive the ball, failing to turn aggressively on good fastballs, and his speed on the bases doesn’t translate often enough either. Despite having above average speed, his base running instincts aren’t very good. Defensively is another story though. He is a good CF, and gets good jumps off the bat. He also possesses a solid to slightly above average throwing arm for a CF as well. He is accurate and gets pretty good carry.
Outlook: Johnson has a chance to see the major leagues at some point. Maybe even in 2012 if he can have a successful first half. I don’t ever see Johnson as being a regular though, and he will more than likely be a 5th outfielder type. He could get some regular playing time if he learns to get more aggressive when he is ahead in the count, and improves his reads and instincts on the bases.
As always, feel free to comment below, or contact me or James a email@example.com.