This is my opening Detroit Tigers prospect report for 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. This report will only be a very small part of the growing network of minor league coverage on the Tigers prospects. To get daily game recaps, check out Matt Wallace's new site, Take 75 North as well as Mike Cassidy's Tigers Minor League Baseball Blog and the Detroit Tigers Weblog. For great ongoing discussion of the minor leagues, go to MotownSports.Com.
With only a handful of games completed, it is impossible to make any conclusions yet. However, I'll kick things off with a look at some of the players who are off to hot starts.
Toledo Mud Hens 3-5
Chris Shelton is trying to get back to the Tigers and is making a good impression so far. He is batting .333/.457/.519 in his first 27 at bats. He has 6 walks but also 9 strikeouts. According to the Toledo Blade, Shelton is batting second in order to get him to concentrate on making contact and using the whole field rather than thinking about power.
Jordan Tata is currently on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He is supposed to be ready to pitch this week but a pitcher with a sore shoulder is always a concern.
Erie Sea Wolves 2-3
A good year for first baseman Jeff Larish would really raise his stock on the national prospect scene and he is off to a good start. In 5 games, he is 8 for 20 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 4 walks.
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. He has 6 hits in his first 16 at bats this year.
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 to levels from low A ball (West Michigan) to AA. He is 5 for 16 with 5 walks.
The 21 year old Jair Jurrjens is still relatively unknown nationally despite an impressive resume. He pitched 4 shutout innings in his first start.
Dallas Trahern has reached the level where finesse pitchers tend to run into trouble but he did fine in his first start going 6 shutout innings.
I'll be going down to Lakeland at the end of the month and one of the players I'll be watching closely is super prospect Cameron Maybin. Maybin went 6 for 23 with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases this week. he also had a 10/7 strikeout/walk ratio.
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 nice start offensively. He is 8 for 21 with a triple and a homer. 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 - one good game and one so so game. He has a 3.38 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.
Burke Badenhop has a 2.45 ERA and has walked nobody in 11 innings over 2 starts.
West Michigan 1-4
Raw toolsy outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is getting his first shot at full season ball this year and is 4 for 13 in 4 games.
First baseman Ryan Strieby is 5 for 19 with two home runs
Chris Cody is a finesse pitcher who did well for Oneonta last year (2.38 ERA in 53 innings). He did well in his first week striking 16 batters in 11 2/3 shutout innings.