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Detroit Tigers Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects in review

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Michael Fulmer
Michael Fulmer
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Forward march with our prospect list reviews, this morning examining the Detroit Tigers.

Remember this is the PRE-SEASON list.

This is not a new list.

These are pre-season grades.

Discuss 2016 Detroit Tigers farm system events in the comments section.

This list was originally published February 23, 2016

1) Michael Fulmer, RHP, Grade B/B+: Outstanding rookie season: 10-5, 2.69 in 21 starts with 108/34 K/BB in 131 innings, although his FIP is a full run higher; overall he should sustain success as an above-average pitcher as long as he remains healthy.

2) Christin Stewart, OF, Grade B:
Age 22, first round pick from University of Tennessee in 2015, 415 at-bats between High-A and Double-A hitting .258/.393/.506 with 26 homers, 84 walks, 126 strikeouts in 415 at-bats; love the power/patience combo; defense limited to left field but he can hit.

3) Beau Burrows, RHP, Grade B:
Age 19, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Texas, 3.32 ERA in 92 innings in Low-A with 59/30 K/BB, 81 hits; very good reviews especially early in the year but I'd like a better K/IP ratio before pushing him past Grade B entering 2017.

4) JaCoby Jones, SS, Grade B-:
Late start due to drug of abuse suspension; hitting combined .255/.324/.407 between Double-A and Triple-A with 34/120 BB/K in 361 at-bats; playing third base and outfield now; continues to tantalize with tools but spotty performance.

5) Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Grade B-:
Has missed season with thoracic outlet syndrome; had surgery in June.

6) Joe Jimenez, RHP, Grade B-:
Excellent season at three levels; between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A has 1.63 ERA with 73/17 K/BB in 50 innings, just 25 hits, 29 saves in 30 attempts; ready for a major league bullpen trial, closer potential.

7) Spencer Turnbull, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
Missed much of the season with injury but back on the mound now; between High-A and rookie ball rehab has 3.90 ERA in 32 innings with 29/10 K/BB, 21 hits, 2.37 GO/AO; hard to tell much with small sample but sinker could be special.

8) Mike Gerber, OF, Grade C+/B-
: 478 at-bats between High-A and Double-A, hitting .280/.343/.479 with 18 homers, 46 walks, 141 strikeouts; older prospect at age 24 but there's sock on the bat; will have to see if contact becomes a prohibitive issue at highest level.

9) Steve Moya, OF, Grade C+:
.280/.307/.497 in Triple-A,  .258/.295/.517 in the majors; 23 homers combined; no change in profile: huge power, low walk rate, large number of strikeouts, needs at-bats more than anything but not sure how he gets them.

10) Zach Shepherd, 3B, Grade C+
: Age 20, from Australia hitting .184/.299/.340 with 14 homers, 62 walks, 155 strikeouts in 397 at-bats in High-A; power potential and a chance to be a very good fielder, too, but has significant contact problems; young enough to improve but looks like he was ranked too high here.

11) Derek Hill, OF, Grade C+: Age 20, repeating Low-A, hit .266/.312/.349 with one homer, 35 steals, 24 walks, 105 strikeouts in 384 at-bats; athleticism, speed, defense stand out but lack of power combined with weak plate discipline complicates offensive projection. 

12) Tyler Alexander, LHP, Grade C+:
130 innings between High-A and Double-A, combined 2.55 ERA with 100/17 K/BB, 121 hits; extremely polished, lacks plus velocity but keeps hitters off-stride.

13) Wynton Bernard, OF, Grade C+
:  Strong in Double-A (.313/.383/.464) but some problems in Triple-A (.235/.286/.302), 23 steals, fast, good glove, lacks power. Possible fourth/fifth outfielder.

14) Dixon Machado, SS, Grade C+:
458 at-bats in Triple-A, .262/.350/.347, 17 steals, 58/68 BB/K; very skilled with the glove and makes contact but another guy without much power; age 24; I think he may surprise with the bat eventually.

15) Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Grade C+
:  53 innings between High-A and Double-A, 4.08 ERA with 52/32 K/BB, 46 hits; can hit mid-90s and has a heavy ball but needs to lower walks, potential middle man.

16) Paul "The Chairman" Voelker, RHP, Grade C+:
4.17 ERA in 50 innings in Double-A, 76/22 K/BB; 12 saves in 15 chances; another guy who can burn radar but needs sharper control who could fit in relief eventually.

17) Drew Smith, RHP, Grade C+:
Age 22, third round pick out of Dallas Baptist in 2015,  3.32 ERA in 43 innings in Low-A, 54/23 K/BB, 29 hits; yes, he is another hard-throwing relief prospect who needs to throw more strikes. 

18) Cam Gibson, OF, Grade C/C+:
Age 22, fifth round pick out of Michigan State in 2015, Kirk's son; hitting .223/.305/.336 with 39 walks, 104 strikeouts, 23 steals in 363 at-bats in Low-A; not as toolsy as dad but no slouch as an athlete, particularly with speed, but hitting has been disappointing so far.

19) Matt Hall, LHP, Grade C: Age 22, sixth round pick out of Missouri State in 2015, strong year with 2.55 ERA between Low-A and High-A, 126/49 K/BB in 127 innings, 110 hits, sharp command, features very good curveball.

20) Josh Turley, LHP, Grade C: Age 25, 144 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 4.20 ERA, 116/36 K/BB, 158 hits, below average fastball but mixes in effective and varied arsenal with cutter, slider, curve, change, knuckleball.

OTHERS OF NOTE: Jose Azocar, OF; Endrys Briceno, RHP; Jeff Ferrell, RHP; Dominic Ficociello, 1B; Grayson Greiner, C; Austin Kubitza, RHP; Jairo Labourt, LHP; Artie Lewicki, RHP; Julio Martinez, OF; Dominic Moreno, RHP; Joey Pankake, 2B; Montreal Robertson, RHP; Kade Scivicque, C; A.J. Simcox, SS; Jeff Thompson, RHP; Jose Valdez, RHP

Discuss current Tigers events, breakthroughs, and disappointments in the comments section.