Saturday, May 12, 2007

Detroit Tigers Prospect Report - 5/12/2007

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 and Mike Cassidy's Tigers Minor League Blog. This week's team by team summary follows.

Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) 16-19

Chris Shelton is in the midst of a deep slump - 3 for 36 in the month of May - which has dropped his season batting average to .228. with just 2 home runs. Instead of finding his stroke in the minors, he is now doing worse than he was when he slumped in the majors last year.

Outfielder Ryan Raburn, who has impressed Jim Leyland in the past, is making a bid to reach the majors. He is 15 for 36 in his last 10 games and is batting .282/.389/.540 for the season.

The leading Mudhen hitter is 32 year old outfielder Timo Perez who is batting .331/.354/.581 with 7 home runs.

Virgil Vasquez earned a callup to the Tigers as he will replace Jeremy Bonderman (blister) tomorrow night. Vazquez had a 2.88 ERA and a 50/10 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.

Zack Miner is off to a slow start but he pitched 7 shutout innings last night to lower his ERA to 5.57 in 42 innings.

Jordan Tata is still on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He is now throwing but is probably still a couple of weeks from returning.

Erie Sea Wolves (AA) 18-13

Jeff Larish is showing power and patience but not making consistent contact. He is batting .246/.338/.509 with a 17/29 K/BB ratio and is second in the Eastern League with 7 home runs.

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 is batting .260/.395/.452 with 22 walks in 104 at bats.

After being kept on a low pitch count in early games, the 21 year old Jair Jurrjens has been stretched out to 7 and 6 innings in his last 2 starts and now has 3.52 ERA and a 24/7 k/BB ratio in 30 2/3 innings.

Dallas Trahern has been called up to Toledo to take Vasquez's spot in the rotation. He will pitch tonight. He had a 1.88 ERA in 38 1/3 innings for the Sea Wolves He had only 22 strikeouts but a very high 3.29 ground out/air out ratio. Last year, his ratio was 3.58.

Hard throwing Eulogio De La Cruz has allowed just 4 runs, 11 hits and 3 walks and has 28 strikeouts in his last 3 games spanning 24 innings. He now has a 3.46 ERA and 38/10 K/BB ratio in 39 IP.

Lakeland (A+) 13-22

Cameron Maybin is batting .308, is 3rd in the league in OBP at .435, is slugging .500 and has 10 stolen bases.

24 year old infielder/outfielder Ovandy Suero is batting .294 with a .388 OBP and leads the league with 24 stolen bases in 25 games. Suero is not considered much of a prospect but that stolen base total is fun to follow.

Unheralded 23 year old outfielder Michael Hernandez is is off to a good start batting .300/.355/.575. His slugging average is 2nd in the league.

22 year old outfielder Justice Justice is also having a solid season batting .293/.394/.534

Now that the weather is warmer, Andrew Miller has been promted to Erie. He had a 3.48 ERA, a 28/15 K/BB ratio and a crazy 4.50 GO/AO ratio in 41 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, an extreme ground ball pitcher is only as good as his infield defense which was almost nonexistent in Lakeland.

West Michigan (A) 18-15

20 year old Gorkys Hernandez is batting .389 in May and is now batting .346/.410/.430 with a 10/17 BB/K ratio and 15 stolen bases. He also is reportedly a strong defensive center fielder. He is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.

First baseman Ryan Strieby is batting a strong .304/.376/.452 in 96 at bats.

Outfielder Deik Scram is batting .387 in May and is up to .320/.395/.427 for the year.

21 year old catcher James Skelton is batting .338/.373/.390. Skelton has an interesting profile for a catcher as he bats left-handed and has better than average speed.

Scott Sizemore is off to a slow start at .236/.372/.340 but his 18/14 BB/K ratio suggests that better numbers will come soon.

Chris Cody allowed 1 run in 8 innings on Monday to keep his ERA at 1.13. He also has a 45/8 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings.

21 year old lefty Duane Below struck out 14 batters in 6 innings last night and now has a 2.19 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 37 innings.

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