July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA infielder Nick Castellanos hits a single during the sixth inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball America – arguably the most renowned source for prospect information, analysis, and rankings – unveiled their Top 100 prospect list today. The list, which can be found here, contains three members of the Detroit Tigers’ organization.
"21. Nick Castellanos, OF/3B74. Avisail Garcia, OF95. Bruce Rondon, RP"
They’re the exact names you would expect to find (and in the exact same order), so there’s nothing terribly earth shattering about this news, but it somewhat notable that all three made it inside the Top 100 according to the fine people at Baseball America.
MLB.com released their list back in January and named two Tigers propects – Castellanos at 21 and Rondon at 92 – but left out Garcia entirely. ESPN’s Keith Law produced a list of his own and only named one Tiger, Castellanos, in his Top 100 (and all the way down at 38!).
The lists ultimately mean nothing. The players will have to continue to develop and eventually perform up to expectations at the major league level for the Tigers to get any sort of value out of them, but the (relatively) high rankings from BA do present some encouragement to fans. (1) That relatively high quality talent does exist below the franchise’s major league club and (2) the perception of the quality isn’t purely due to homerism or fandom. A well-respected, unbiased third-party has identified the talent as well.
That all being said, these three players all need to make significant strides in order to prove they belong in the big leagues (even Rondon, who’s assumed to be making the roster come April 1). The future could very well be bright with these three players as the core, but we are a ways away from realizing that potential.