9. Jose Azocar
2016 Affiliate: West Michigan Whitecaps
After hitting .234 for the Tigers’ Venezuelan Summer League team in 2013, Jose Azocar followed it up with a .340 batting average in the same competition the next year. Since then, he hasn’t stopped hitting.
In 58 games split between Detroit’s Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League affiliates, Azocar batted .325 with a .350 on-base percentage.
The outfielder isn’t much of a power threat, with just one home run in his professional career, however his hit tool makes him an intriguing prospect for the future.
That hit tool was on full display last season for Western Michigan, as Azocar, who turned 20 in May, finished fifth in the league in hits while collecting 56 runs scored, 51 RBI, 14 stolen bases and eight triples.
Azocar’s hitting and speed combination should help him progress through the Tigers system and eventually make his debut in Detroit. The prospect’s ability to handle center field certainly doesn’t hurt.
All told, the Tigers have a number of intriguing outfield prospects coming through the system. However, Azocar’s upside should allow him to crack Detroit’s Major League roster sometime in the future.