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Detroit Tigers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Detroit Tigers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

This list was originally published January 7, 2009.  This is a review of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. I'm not doing new grades or lists until I start working on the 2010 book.

1) Rick Porcello, RHP, Grade A-: 11-8, 4.27 with a 71/42 K/BB in 129 innings for the Tigers, 135 hits. He's doing better than I thought he would, though the lowish strikeout rate still concerns me.

2) Ryan Perry, RHP, Grade B: 3.96 ERA with 48/30 K/BB in 50 innings for the Tigers, 46 hits. Has command issues, but clearly capable of being a strong relief force.

3) Brett Jacobson, RHP, Grade B-:  3.74 ERA with 44/17 K/BB in 55 innings for Class A Lakeland. Traded to Orioles.

4) Casey Crosby, LHP, Grade C+: 10-4, 2.41 with a 117/48 K/BB in 105 innings for Class A West Michigan, 70 hits. Recovered from Tommy John surgery. Looks good.

5) Jeff Larish, 1B, Grade C+: Hit .265/.397/.412 for Triple-A Toledo, .216/.344/.446 for the Tigers. Draws walks, has some pop, won't hit for average.

6) Cody Satterwhite, RHP, Grade C+: 3.47 ERA with 52/27 K/BB in 49 innings, 46 hits for Double-A Erie. Could help in relief next year.

7) Wilkin Ramirez, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .258/.326/.445 with 17 homers, 33 steals, 143 strikeouts in 434 at-bats for Toledo. Good tools, power and speed, has problems with the strike zone.

8) Scott Green, RHP, Grade C+: 3.25 ERA With 35/14 K/BB in 36 innings for Class A Lakeland, 11 saves. On DL since late July.

9) Casper Wells, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .261/.364/.482 for Double-A Erie. Missed most of the first half with injuries but playing well now. Still a sleeper prospect.

10) Alex Avila, C, Grade C+: Hit .263/.365/.450 for Erie, promoted to the majors and hitting .324/.405/.676 in 14 games. That won't last, but he's definitely an interesting player who has risen rapidly.

11) Rudy Darrow, RHP, Grade C+: Traded to Braves in spring training. Has been terrible, 7.28 ERA with 33/27 K/BB in 38 innings, 51 hits combined between Southern and Carolina Leagues.

12) Casey Fien, RHP, Grade C+: 3.41 ERA with 66/15 K/BB in 58 innings, 14 saves for Toledo. Yet another potential relief arm.

13) Chris Lambert, RHP, Grade C+: 3.55 ERA with 106/31 K/BB in 127 innings for Toledo, 121 hits. Claimed on waivers by Orioles last week.

14) Luis Marte, RHP, Grade C+: 3.96 ERA with 81/26 K/BB in 102 innings, 103 hits for Erie. Throws strikes, but not dominant. On the DL since late July.

15) Robbie Weinhardt, RHP, Grade C+: 2.54 ERA with 30/15 K/BB in 28 innings for Erie, 27 hits. Another potential relief arm.

16) Cale Iorg, SS, Grade C:  .222/.273/.343 with 137 strikeouts in 464 at-bats for Erie. Tigers propaganda says he's a future regular due to his fielding skills, but the guy can't hit at all.

17) Scott Sizemore, 2B, Grade C: Hitting .306/.391/.499 with 20 steals combined between Erie and Toledo. Stock is back up now; I like him quite a bit.

18) William Rhymes, 2B, Grade C: Hitting .265/.330/.357 with 20 steals for Toledo. I don't think he'll hit quite enough.

19) Brandon Hamilton, RHP, Grade C:  7.24 ERA with 69/60 K/BB in 97 innings, 111 hits for West Michigan. My hopes that he would emerge as a sleeper seem badly misplaced.

20) Dusty Ryan, C, Grade C: Hitting .257/.359/.455 for Toledo, 64 strikeouts in 63 games, 202 at-bats. I remain concerned that contact issues will hold him back.

The Tigers have a measure of pitching depth in the system, and the 2008 draft has yielded quick dividends in the form of Perry and Aviles. We've talked a lot about the Porcello gamble this year. He's been pretty solid but I'm still not sure what to make of him for the long-term. The 2009 draft adds additional pitching depth with Turner and Oliver, but this system could really use some impact offensive talent.