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Detroit Tigers Pre-Season Top 20 in Review

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Curtis Granderson hits his first homer (AP)

Detroit Tigers Pre-Season Top 20 Prospects in Review

1) Justin Verlander, RHP
Combined for 128/22 K/BB ratio in 108 innings between Class A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, ERA at 1.33. Excellent stuff with better-than-expected command. Second only to King Felix among RHP prospects.
2) Curtis Granderson, OF
Just promoted to the Majors after .297/.361/.520 performance at Triple-A Toledo. Is 6-for-14 so far with 2 homers and 2 triples. A fine prospect all-around, only worry is high strikeout rate at Toledo but everything else looks great.
3) Tony Giarratano, SS
.246/.319/.367 at Erie. I've been disappointed in him; he has not developed in the direction that I hoped, and I think I may have been too optimistic in the past.
4) Kyle Sleeth, RHP
Tommy John surgery, out for the year.
5) Joel Zumaya, RHP
8-3, 2.77 in 18 starts at Erie, 143/52 K/BB in 107 innings, 71 hits. Outstanding K/IP and H/IP ratios are statistical confirmation of his excellent stuff. Needs better command though, and hasn't pitched well in 2 Triple-A starts.
6) Jeff Frazier, OF
.276/.349/.408 with 12 steals, 25 doubles for Class A West Michigan. Hitting adequately but I think he is capable of more.
7) Ryan Raburn, 2B
.260/.330/.454 with 14 homers at Toledo. Holding his own, good pop for an infielder, worth of a September call-up.
8) Chris Shelton, 1B
Hitting .363/.399/.491 for the Tigers in 48 games. His bat is legitimate, although he will cool off at some point. But he doesn't have "tools", you see, aside from the ability to hit .300 with power.
9) Juan Tejeda, 1B
Hitting .286/.352/.447 with 10 homers for Erie. He can hit some, but like Shelton scouts have been skeptical and he doesn't have a clear position.
10) Lucas French, LHP
3-1, 4.43 with 17/9 K/BB in 4 starts for Lakeland, just being activated a couple of weeks ago from extended spring. I think he's a sleeper but the sample is too small to be meaningful either way.
11) Eric Beattie, RHP
Has walked 22 guys in 7.2 innings in the Gulf Coast League. Steve Blass Disease.
12) Andrew Kown, RHP
4.37 ERA, 79/35 K/BB in 110 innings for West Michigan, 110 hits. Throws strikes, otherwise not spectacular by any means.
13) Humberto Sanchez, RHP
5.60 ERA, 55/22 K/BB in 55 innings for Erie, 63 hits allowed. Good K/IP rate, but erratic control and too many hits allowed for a guy with good stuff.
14) Brent Clevlen, OF
Excellent rebound season: .299/.377./.487 for Lakeland, with improved plate discipline compared to last year. He is repeating the league but young enough that the improvement is probably real.
15) Eulogio de la Cruz, RHP
Used as a swingman for Lakeland, 3.49 ERA, 22 games, 10 starts, 2 saves, 73/26 K/BB in 67 innings, just 45 hits allowed. Numbers solid across the board, a sleeper.
16) Collin Mahoney, RHP
Ugly 23/21 K/BB in 22 innings and 5.24 ERA at West Michigan prompted demotion to short-season Oneonta, where he has a 10.13 ERA in 9 games. Great arm but horrible control problems.
17) Josh Kauten, RHP
4-1, 2.91 in 12 starts for West Michigan, but weak K/IP ratio. Missed time in May and June with injury but back on the mound now. I like his command but K/IP is a worry.
18) Kenny Baugh, RHP
Solid rebound season, 8-5, 3.36 at Toledo. Best news is that Baugh has been healthy. K/BB of 70/45 in 121 innings isn't great. Good control but a low strikeout rate. Could/should still be a useful number five starter or swingman.
19) Matt Vasquez, RHP
4-1, 4.21 in 8 starts at Lakeland, then 2-3, 4.81 in 7 starts for Erie. Combined 54/13 K/BB in 86 innings shows good command but ability to dominate a game is in doubt, H/IP is also unimpressive. At least he throws strikes.
20) Dallas Trahern, RHP
5-8, 3.27 in 20 starts for West Michigan. Has eaten 124 innings efficiently, but has allowed 126 hits. K/BB of 56/35. Strong strike-throwing ability but other ratios are below average.

Verlander, Granderson, and Zumaya are all excellent prospects. There have been some disappointments as well: Sleeth's injury, mediocre numbers from Giarratano and Frazier, control problems with Mahoney and Beattie. All in all a mixed result, some very bright spots but some faded stars as well.