Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sickels' Tigers Prospect list

John Sickels is preparing his annual Prospect Book and he gave a sneak preview of the Tigers on his Minor League Ball blog today:
  1. Cameron Maybin, OF, Grade A-
  2. Andrew Miller, LHP, Grade A-
  3. Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, B-
  4. Jair Jurrjens, RHP, B-
  5. Gorkys Hernandez, OF, B-
  6. Jeff Larish, 1B, B-
  7. Scott Sizemore, 2B, B-
  8. Brent Clevlen, OF, C+
  9. Jordan Tata, RHP, C+
  10. Dallas Trahern, RHP, C+
  11. Jonah Nickerson, RHP, C+
  12. Mike Holliman, SS, C+
  13. Brennan Boesch, OF, C+
  14. Ronnie Bourquin, 3B, C+
  15. Tony Giarratano, SS, C
  16. Brett Jensen, RHP, C
  17. Brendan Wise, RHP, C
  18. Matt Joyce, OF, C
  19. Chris Cody, LHP, C
  20. Virgil Vasquez, RHP, C
He explained the grades in last year's book:
  • A= Elite prospect with a good chance to become a star
  • B= Prospect with a good chance to have a successful career
  • C= Prospect with something positive going for him but also has question marks or is too far away from the majors to judge accurately
There are no big surprises on the list. Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are ranked as elite prospects (A-) and everyone else is B- or below. They may lack top prospects but they actually have more A and B prospects this year than last year. Last year, he ranked 5 Tigers as A or B: Justin Verlander (A), Joel Zumaya (B+), Brent Clevlen (B), Cameron Maybin (B) and Jordan Tata (B-). Verlander and Zumaya, of course, excelled in the majors in 2006. Maybin raised his grade with an excellent year at level A West Michigan. Clevlen struggled in AA and dropped to C+ this year. Tata dropped to C- after jumping to the majors from A ball and then spending most of the year in AAA. I'm not sure why he slipped. Perhaps, Sickels decided that he ranked him too high last year or maybe he felt, despite his decent year at AAA (3.84 ERA in 21 starts), that he hasn't accomplished enough for someone who just turned 25.

Several 2006 amatuer draft choices made the list this year including Miller, Scott Sizemore, Jonah Nickerson, Brennan Boesch, Ronnie Bourquin, Brett Jensen and Chris Cody. Others making the list for the first time were Brendan Wise and Gorkys Hernandez. He will write more about each of those prospects and others in his Prospect Book which I recommend for anybody who enjoys keeping track of prospects in all organizations.

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