Sunday, April 22, 2007

Detroit Tigers Prospect Report - 04/22/2007

During the course of the year, I will be giving statistical updates and other information on the Tigers organization. I will cover all the consensus top prospects as well as other noteworthy perfomers. For daily recaps and other news on Tigers prospects, check out Matt Wallace's Take 75 North. It's still too early for the stats to be very conclusive but here is what's happening so far:

Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) 8-8

Chris Shelton is trying to get back to the Tigers and has had mixed results so far. He is batting .302/.433/.434 in his first 53 at bats. He has 12 walks but also 21 strikeouts which is a lot given his modest power output in the early going.

Jordan Tata is currently on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He is not scheduled to have surgery but will be out 4-6 weeks.

Another player who is aiming for a spot on the Tigers this year is Ryan Raburn. The former infielder is playing outfield these days and is batting .296 with 5 doubles and 3 homers in 55 at bats.

With Chad Durbin struggling to hold the 5th starter job in Detroit, and Andrew Miller not dominating A ball, Virgil Vasquez is likely on the Tigers radar. Vazquez has a 3.48 ERA with an impressive 28 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. That's a lot strikeouts for a finesse guy.

Zack Miner, who pitched well for the Tigers when Mike Maroth went down last year, has a 10.69 ERA in 4 starts.

Erie Sea Wolves (AA) 6-6

A good year for first baseman Jeff Larish would really raise his stock on the national prospect scene. He is showing his power and patience but is struggling to make contact. In 12 games, he is batting .229 with 6 walks and 6 extra base hits.

Third baseman Kody Kirkland is well regarded by some scouts but the results have not been there so far. He showed some power last year but batted just .217. This year, he is batting .293/.341/.439 in 11 games.

Michael Hollimon spent the first two years of his professional career as one of the older players in his league. This year, he is getting tested as he has jumped two levels from low A ball (West Michigan) to AA. He has responded to the promotion by batting .324/.480/.514 in the first 11 games.

The 21 year old Jair Jurrjens is still relatively unknown nationally despite an impressive resume. He is on a strict pitch count and has only pitched 12 innings in 3 starts but the results have been good - a 1.50 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio.

Dallas Trahern has reached the level where finesse pitchers tend to run into trouble but he is off to a good start with a 0.93 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.

Lakeland (A+) 7-9

I'll be going down to Lakeland next weekend and one of the players I'll be watching closely is super prospect Cameron Maybin. Maybin is batting .308/.463/.635 with 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts. His strikeouts are high (21) but he also has 14 walks.

Scouts have raved about Wilken Ramirez's raw ability for a couple of years now but the results have not been good. He has been switched form third base to outfield and is off to a little better start offensively. He is batting .292/.314/.428 but has a 2/15 BB/K ratio. It's important to remember that he is just 21 and still has time to put it together.

There has been a lot of talk about Andrew Miller starting for the Tigers this year at some point. The results have been mixed so far - two good games and two not so good games. He has a 3.04 ERA and 14/5 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 innings.

Burke Badenhop has a 1.53 ERA and has walked just one batter in 17 2/3 innings over 3 starts.

West Michigan (A) 7-7

Raw toolsy outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is getting his first shot at full season ball this year and is off to a solid start - .349/.404/.419.

First baseman Ryan Strieby is batting .260 with 4 doubles and 2 home runs in 14 games.

Chris Cody is a finesse pitcher who did well for Oneonta last year (2.38 ERA in 53 innings). He is off to a great start this year striking out 21 batters in 19 2/3 shutout innings.

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