MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo unveiled his Top 100 prospect list on Tuesday night; included in his list were two members of the Detroit Tigers’ organization.
July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA team designated hitter Nick Castellanos (1) runs the bases after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The first – an most obvious – inclusion is third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos. Castellanos comes in at #21 overall – down from #10 last season – but it appears that he’s being ranked as an outfielder this season. He still projects to have a plus bat, but simply having a plus bat in the outfield doesn’t stand out quite as much as it does at third base. On Castellanos:
"He drives the ball to all fields and while he hasn’t shown too much in the way of home run power to date, there is definitely pop in his bat that will come."
He may not be quite as valuable in the outfield as he would be at third base, but he still checked in as the number six outfield prospect in all of baseball.
The Tigers’ second and final player to be included in this Top 100 list is fireballing reliever Bruce Rondon. He comes in at #92. Relief pitchers are typically not highly ranked on prospect lists, but it’s impossible not to take notice of Rondon’s raw stuff and 100 mph heat.
"The “future closer” label gets thrown out a lot, but seldom has it fit more than with Rondon, who will shed the future part of the moniker soon. Rondon has one of the best fastballs in the Minors, touching triple digits regularly with good life. He combines it with a hard, biting slider and shows a decent fading changeup as well."
Rondon will be given every opportunity to display his talents and compete for a job in the Tigers’ big league bullpen this spring. He could certainly stand to improve his iffy command, but, by all reports, he has the stuff to get big league hitters out.