If you haven’t noticed, I just finished up the Tigers top 50 prospect list here on MCB. While the list might not be impressive, and the Tigers still remain relatively weak down on the farm, there is some intriguing upside in the organization. A lot of that upside is coming from Latin America, and not the draft where the Tigers really struggled. I don’t have information as of yet as to which players are going to come stateside this season, but will have a post on Latin players to watch shortly.
Today, I wanted to let you know about guys that were in the mix for the top 50 list, and despite not making it, could easily have been placed on there considering the small differences between the guys in the Tigers organization. Here are some names that could vault into the top 50 by summer with ease…
1. Yorfrank Lopez– Starting Pitcher
Lopez was a guy who really took off as the GCL went on this summer. At 21 years old, Lopez wasn’t exactly young for the league, but his improvement was notable. Lopez put up an impressive 2.32 ERA for the GCL Tigers, but just turned 22 years old a couple of days ago, and will likely have to be pushed to West Michigan this year and perform well to be considered a legitimate prospect. His stuff is okay, and he does have a good pitchers frame, so maybe we will see an uptick here soon.
2. Brandon Loy– Second Base
Loy is an all glove player, and his weak bat is what kept him out of the top 50. I know that Dixon Machado made the list, but Machado is a step above as a defender, and could be elite in that regard. Loy on the other hand has a good glove, and his playing at second base almost solidifies the idea that he is being groomed as an utility player.
3. Melvin Mercedes– Relief Pitcher
Mercedes was actually just protected by the Tigers on their 40 man roster. I am not sure that he is a guy that was going to get selected, but it is obvious that the Tigers like him. Me? I like him too, but I have yet to see the potential dominating closer out of him that the Tigers once believed was there. Mercedes has a heavy sinking fastball that sits mostly in the low 90’s, but can crank it up once in a while. His breaking ball isn’t anything above average. He does generate a bunch of ground balls, has good physicality, and isn’t mentally fragile. There are things to like, just want to see it for a couple years in a row from him.
4. Alwin Delgado– Shortstop
Delgado is a strong athletic shortstop that has just played one year of baseball in the states. While he is still pretty raw at the plate, the 20 year old has some skills to dream on. Physically, he looks like he could grow into power, and while he isn’t the fleetest of foot, Delgado is quick enough, and has enough skill to continue to man the shortstop position. If he begins to modify his strike zone, there could be an interesting offensive player in there.
5. Luis Marte– Reliever
October 03, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Luis Marte (49) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
I’m a huge fan of Marte, and probably should’ve put him in the top 50. He has already shown that he can get major league hitters out, but I also felt the upside here is limited, and I think he can be surpassed by most of the other relievers on the list. His stuff just is a bit short, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be in the bigs or getting the job done.
6. Julio Felix– Reliever
I believe that Felix is somewhat in the mold of Luis Marte. He doesn’t have the four pitch repertoire that Marte has, but he does have a little bit more velocity on the fastball. He attacks hitters and has a late inning mentality.
7. David Gonzalez– Shortstop
The Tigers continue to pile up slick fielding middle infielders, and are beginning to get a bunch in the lower levels. Gonzalez is one of them. Gonzalez actually has a bit of a better glove than Delgado, but not on the level of guys like Suarez and Machado. I believe a bit more in Delgado’s bat, and Gonzalez will have some work to do there.