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Detroit Tigers Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review

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How did the Tigers pre-season prospect list turn out?

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Fall Stars Game
Christin Stewart
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Detroit Tigers Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES.

This list was originally published January 18th, 2017.

1) Matt Manning, RHP, Grade B+: Age 19, first round pick in 2016 from high school in California; opened in New York-Penn League in June, with 1.89 ERA in 33 innings, 36/14 K/BB; promoted to Low-A in August and hit hard in first two starts, eight runs in 2.1 innings; reports from NY-P were quite positive.

2) Christin Stewart, OF, Grade B: Age 23, first round pick in 2015 from University of Tennessee; nice power year on the surface in Double-A, .255/.338/.508 with 25 homers, 50 walks, 122 whiffs in 419 at-bats; very sharp home/road split with Erie, however, with 1.011 OPS at home and just .689 on the road.

3) Beau Burrows, RHP, Grade B-: Age 20, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Texas; excellent in High-A (1.23 ERA in 59 innings, 62/11 K/BB), still promising but a bit erratic in Double-A (4.38 ERA, 64/27 K/BB in 62 innings); reports are positive.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Joe Jimenez
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

4) Joe Jimenez, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, signed out of Puerto Rico as undrafted free agent in 2013; excellent in Triple-A (1.44 ERA in 25 innings, 36/12 K/BB) but hit hard in major leagues (15 his, 15 runs in 10 innings); small sample and more chances will come.

5) Tyler Alexander, LHP, Grade B-: Age 23, second round pick out of Texas Christian in 2015; 4.98 ERA in 116 innings in Double-A, 99/21 K/BB, 151 hits; finesse lefty having difficult transition to Double-A but still has time to make adjustments.

6) Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, fourth round pick in 2016 as a senior from Louisville, having turned down the Dodgers 35th overall in ’15; strong opening to 2017 with 2.44 ERA in 63 innings in Low-A/High-A, 83/19 K/BB; went on disabled list in mid-June with elbow injury.

7) Michael Gerber, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, 15th round pick in 2014 out of Creighton University; missed a month with a strained oblique but has hit well when healthy, .303/.378/.471 in 314 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; older prospect but has always hit well.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates
Dixon Machado
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

8) Dixon Machado, INF, Grade C+: Age 25, from Venezuela, serving well as utility infielder in the majors, hitting .293/.333/.354 in 99 at-bats, with steady and versatile glove.

9) JaCoby Jones, OF-INF, Grade C+: Age 25, third round pick out of LSU by Pirates in 2013, traded to Tigers in ’15, still teases with his tools, hitting .243/.313/.387 in 346 at-bats in Triple-A, .137/.228/.255 in 51 major league at-bats; still has intriguing power/speed combo but skills are problematic.

10) Steven Moya, OF, Grade C+: Age 26, just under the 130 at-bat limit for rookies; hitting combined .195/.259/.403 with 17 homers, 27 walks, 108 strikeouts in 313 at-bats in Double-A/Triple-A; enormous power from the left side with enormous strikeout problems showing no signs of change.

11) Myles Jaye, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, originally drafted by Blue Jays in 17th round in 2010; 4.04 ERA in 128 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 107/40 K/BB, 135 hits; fifth starter/long relief type.

12) Jose Azocar, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Venezuela in 2012; very athletic but with very questionable bat, hitting .226/.251/.303 with 13 walks, 110 strikeouts in 393 at-bats in High-A.

13) Derek Hill, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, first round pick in 2014; hitting combined .250/.346/.389 in 180 at-bats between Low-A and rookie ball injury rehab, 18 steals; still stands out for defense, speed, athleticism, but has been in the Midwest League for three years now.

14) Gerson Moreno, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; fastball reliably clocked at 97-100 MPH; excellent in High-A (2.01 ERA, 30/8 K/BB in 22 innings) but not so much in Double-A (6.17 ERA in 23 innings, 31/13 K/BB), just placed on disabled list with undisclosed injury.

15) Sandy Baez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011; 3.86 ERA in 89 innings in High-A, 92/24 K/BB, 88 hits; not a bad year at all but we need to see him at higher levels; another hard-thrower.

16) Drew Smith, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, third round pick in 2015 out of Dallas Baptist; traded to Tampa Bay Rays in April, then traded to New York Mets in July; at five minor league stops this year he has a combined 1.58 ERA in 51 innings, 43/11 K/BB, 36 hits; intriguing bullpen prospect now for the Mets.

17) Grayson Greiner, C, Grade C+: Age 24, third round pick in 2014 from South Carolina; hitting .241/.323/.444 in Double-A with 13 homers, 35 walks, 65 strikeouts in 295 at-bats; 36% of runners caught with good receiving numbers as well.

18) Spencer Turnbull, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, second round pick in 2014 from University of Alabama; 3.56 ERA in 96 innings between High-A and Double-A, 82/32 K/BB; four/five starter projection but could be better if used in bullpen.

19) Bryan Garcia, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, sixth round pick in 2016 from University of Miami Hurricanes; another lively bullpen arm in Tigers tradition, has advanced quickly with 1.88 ERA in 48 innings, 75/20 K/BB, 17 saves, between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A.

20) Artie Lewicki, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, eighth round pick in 2014 from University of Virginia; 3.67 ERA in 128 innings, 108/29 K/BB, 128 hits between Double-A and Triple-A; ready for a trial soon; can start or relieve.

OTHER GRADE C+:
Mark Ecker, RHP: 3.16 ERA in 51 innings in High-A/Double-A, 68/21 K/BB.
Matt Hall, LHP: 2.72 ERA in 119 innings in High-A/Double-A, 129/47 K/BB, sleeper prospect.
Zac Houston, RHP: 2.36 ERA in 53 innings in Low-A/High-A, 82/26 K/BB.
Hector Martinez, 2B: Hitting .244/.275/.319 in the NY-P.

Daniel Pinero, SS: Hitting .273/.364/.385 in Low-A.
Wladimir Pinto, RHP: Threw 10 shutout innings with 18/0 K/BB in NY-P and Low-A before going on disabled list with undisclosed injury.
A.J. Simcox, SS: Hitting .247/.291/.368 in Double-A.
Arvicent Perez, C: Hitting .227/.263/.307 in High-A; 50% of runners caught.
Adam Ravenelle, RHP: 3.89 ERA in 44 innings in Double-A, 40/18 K/BB.

I’m trying to finish the review series as rapidly as possible.