Saturday, May 13, 2006

Detroit Tiger Prospect Report - 5/13/06

As the season goes along, I'll be doing periodic updates on many of the Tiger prospects throughout the minor leagues. I'm not going to list them in any particular order. I'm just going to list some of the most interesting prospects at each level. I won't mention every prospect on every report, just ones that seem noteworthy at the time I'm writing it. I may occasionally even talk about some marginal prospects who happen to be having good seasons. Here is this week’s report team by team:

Toledo Mudhens (AAA)
Record: 17-17

Wil Ledezma was placed on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right side. Hopefully, he won’t lose too much time because he’s off to a great start this year - 2.65 ERA and a 40/8 K/BB ratio in 34 innings......Matt Mantei was placed on the disabled list due to stiffness in his right shoulder. The frequently injured Mantei only made it through 5 innings this time…..Zach Miner, obtained in the Kyle Farnsworth deal with the Braves has a 2.03 ERA in 40 innings pitched. Roman Colon, obtained in the same deal, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in two games before being called up to replace Jordan Tata on the Detroit roster.…..A trio of somewhat older hitters are making bids for recalls later in the season: Ryan Ludwick went 8 for 21 this week and is now batting .298/.393/.524 but has struck out 45 times in 124 at bats. Josh Phelps is now batting .300/.374/.509. Jack Hannahan was not even invited to spring training by the Tigers but it’s hard to ignore his .403 OBP. He’s also a good defensive 3B.

Erie Seawolves (AA)
Record: 13-21

Brent Clevlen’s season has gone from bad to worse as a 2 for 21 week has dropped him to .233/.329/.338.....Tony Giarratano is struggling about as much as Clevlen – .236/.281/.354….. Humberto Sanchez gave up 5 runs in 5 2/3 inning in his his last start for his worst outing of the year. However, he has been very impressive overall – 2.51 ERA and 54/15 K/BB ratio in 43 innings…..Brian Rogers is not regarded as a top prospect but he’s only 23 and is having an excellent season as a workhorse reliever- a 1.09 ERA, and 28/1 K/BB ratio over 24 2/3 innings…..Eulogio De La Cruz got off to an awful start but he now seems to be coming around. He has allowed no runs and only 2 base runners in his last 7 innings spanning 5 appearances.

Lakeland Tigers (A+)
Record: 19-16

Jeff Larish is not hitting for average (.258) but is 3rd in the league in walks (23) and extra base hits (17).....Clete Thomas has batted .362 over the last two weeks and is now hitting .285/.352/.444. However, he has struck out 49 times in 144 at bats….Jeff Frazier is hitting for some power but not getting on base much: .267/.306/.459.....Wilken Ramirez has apparently recovered from his groin problem but not his hitting problems. He is batting .237/.260/.356 with 40 strikeouts.....Jair Jurrjens now has a 2.23 ERA and a 33/5 k/BB ratio in 40 1/3 IP....Kevin Whelan has walked 5 batters in his last 4 innings and his ERA has gone up to 4.63. I don’t know whether his problems are related to a recent ankle sprain…..Andrew Kown who joined Lakeland after 16 scoreless innings in Western Michigan has a 2.00 ERA in two starts for Lakeland…..Kevin Ardoin has allowed just 3 earned runs in his last 3 starts lowering his season ERA to 2.80. He has a 27/3 K/BB ratio over 45 innings.

West Michigan Whitecaps (A)
Record: 21-11

Cameron Maybin has missed the last three games with “finger lock”. I’m not exactly sure what that is but it’s not supposed to be serious and he should return to the line-up shortly. He is now hitting .330/.409/.510 and is 5th in the Midwest league in OPS (.919).....Catcher Dusty Ryan, a personal favorite of mine, is batting .319/.420/.420 in 21 games…..Sendy Vazquez has a 1.69 ERA and 29/10 K/BB ratio in 32 innings….. Ramon Garcia has a 1.46 ERA and 39/6 K/BB ratio in 42 innings….Reliever Orlando Perdomo has a 1.80 ERA and 16/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings.


  1. Some of these k/bb ratios for our minor league pitchers are astonishing, Lee. What's going on here? Is it safer to throw strikes at this level and not get hurt? Are umps creating a larger strike zone? Is it coaching, or are some of these ptichers really that good?

  2. Bert, I've been wodering about that myself. Good pitchers often have great ratios in the minors because they are ahead of a lot of the hitters. This year seems pretty extreme though (just eye balling it). Not only do the pitchers have great ratios but the batters seem to have bad ones this year. The regular umpires have been on strike so I'm thinking the replacement umps might have expanded the strike zone this year. This might be a good question for Mark.

  3. Wonder if this Miner kid might get a look this summer. He's not on the 40-man roster, so he'd have to be added. But isn't there room on the 40-man right now?

  4. While I'm not surprised that Tata was sent down, I was a bit surprised they went with Colon. I thought the reason he was sent down there was to start. He's not going to make it into the rotation the way everyone is pitching right now. Since he's coming off an injury, I'd be a bit concerned about his health, too.

  5. Ozz, the Tigers do have a spot open on the 40 man roster. Miner has never been very consistent above A ball but is supposed have pretty good stuff. It's good to see him get off to a strong start. The fact that he has never been consistent might be the reason they want to keep him in Toledo for a while.

    He sprained his ankle in his last game. Hopefully, he won't be out for long.

  6. AnonymousMay 22, 2006

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