Friday, April 06, 2007

Lakeland Flying Tigers Preview

The Lakeland Flying Tigers opened up their inaugural season under their new name last night with a rain shortend 5 inning 3-0 shutout over Tampa. Andrew Miller pitched 5 innings allowing 3 hits and no walks and struck out 3. Justin Justice hit a solo home run and Michael Hernandez and Ryan Roberson added RBI doubles. Cameron Maybin, who played center field and batted third, was hitless in 2 at bats.

It will be a great season for Lakeland fans as they get a firsthand look at two of the best Tigers prospects in recent memory. Cameron Maybin is a five tool prospect who some think will be starting in Detroit as early as 2008. Maybin has great speed, quickly developing power and is an excellent defender. The only facet of his game that really needs improvent is plate discipline . He just recently turned 20 years old so that is expected to come in time. Chris Knight at MLBfantasyadvice.com recently did a brief interview with Maybin and discovered that he is a big fan of Ryan Howard and Alex Gordon.

The other phenom to follow at Lakeland this year is Andrew Miller who already appeared for the Tigers in 2006. The 22 year old Miller is a hard throwing left-hander with an outstanding slider but lacks a change-up. He also needs to work on his control as he walked 10 batters in 10 innings as a reliever for the Tigers last season. As Ryan McConnel at MILB.COM points out, both Miller and Maybin will be on the fast track and at the very least should reach AA Erie some time during the summer.

Other players to watch at Lakeland this year are third baseman Ronnie Bourquin, outfielder Wilkin Ramirez and pitchers Burke Badenhop and Sendy Vazquez. The complete roster is listed below. More roster details can be found at the Flying Tigers website. For more news and discussion of the Flying Tigers check out motownsports.com and Mike Cassidy's Tigers Minor League Blog.

Pitchers
Andrew Miller
Burke Badenhop
Lucas French
Sendy Vasquez
Matthew Righter
Freddy Dolsi
Anthoney Tomey
Paul Hammond
Ricky Steik
Matt Rusch
Gabriel Benitez
Eleazor Aponte

Catchers
Dusty Ryan
Adrian Casanova

Infielders
1B Ryan Roberson
1B Pedro Cotto
2B Wil Rhymes
2B Ovandy Suero
SS Matt Haske
SS Miguel Linares
3B Ronnie Bourquin

Outfield
Wilkin Ramirez
Cameron Maybin
Justin Justice
Michael Hernandez

DL
Orlando Perdomo RP
Joe Tucker OF

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