Tigers all over the place in prospect rankings

So as you might have seen on the site or on MLB Network last night, MLB.com came out with its preseason Top 50 prospect list. The Tigers came in with two kids on the list: Austin Jackson was the top Tiger at 38th, but first-round draft pick Jacob Turner isn’t far behind at 42.

Today, ESPN.com’s Keith Law came out with his top 100 prospects list. Jackson and Turner are on that list, too, but neither cracked the Top 50. Casey Crosby, however, did. He’s at 45, with Jackson at 70 and Turner at 80. Interestingly, Law is subdued on his projections for Jackson, whom he sees as a true center field with a league-average bat. Scott Sizemore barely missed the top 100, Law writes, and probably would’ve made the cut had his Arizona Fall League not ended early with a broken ankle. Law projects him as a “solid-average regular for several years.”

Not to be overlooked (thanks to Ed Price for pointing it out) is the prospects list from AOL Fanhouse, which has five (count ‘em, five) Tigers in the Top 100. Jackson is 25th on that list by Frankie Piliere, who says Jackson has “grown by leaps and bounds since he was drafted.” The next-highest Tiger is Andy Oliver, who didn’t make the other two lists but hits 47th here. Another missing name from the other two rankings, Daniel Schlereth, is 78th, followed by Crosby at 82 and Turner at 90.

My point isn’t to argue that any one list is better than another; I just find the varying opinions fascinating. I’m entering my ninth year on this beat, and I can’t remember such varying national opinions on Tigers prospects. The one thing all these lists have in common is that they show progress in Detroit’s farm system. They’re drafting and developing more high-level talent rather than just one or two really good pitchers, and in the case of Jackson and Schlereth, they’re trading for them too.

10 Comments

Well, that’s why they call ‘em prospects. It’s like predicting the weather, but less scientific. I was in Baltimore last summer when their star prospect, Matt Weiters, arrived. He not only got total news coverage of his motorcade to the ballpark, but he received a long standing ovation when he first came up to hit. That’s how starved the Oriole faithful was for something positive to happen. My point being, I wouldn’t mind seeing some ultra-highly touted position players in our system.
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–Rich

The weather is way easier to predict right now: Cold!!!

My response to that is that I got my spring training tickets in the mail today and Jason, you’ll be sitting up there with your laptop in the Ed Katalinas tower before you know it.
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–Rich

Boy is it cold – I dream that when I come to this page is that I see that the Tigers and JV have reached a fair agreement, but alas nothing. The couple of interviews that I heard JV do over last weekend, although he said that he wanted to be a Tiger, I also heard that nobody can stay with one team forever. I just wonder if he really wants to sign anything long term with the Tigers??

Looks like Justin should sign a multi-year deal with the Tigs. Some speculation whether he is worth signing–I say look at at what they gave Nate, Dontrelle and Bonderman and you will quickly justify just about anything that the signing takes to get done.
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Damon to the Tigers is a good idea on several levels but only if they don’t come up with a LHB slugger to play either 3rd or left. They can limp through with RR in LF and DH Guillen but a nice case scenario would be a thumper who can play the OF and 3B. (plus hit from the left side)
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Inge is a good Tiger, a fan favorite and a good ballplayer (though extremely inconsistent), but he will not ever be a game changer. Guillen the same. I hope for career years from those 2 guys and we will need it if they think they can tolerate 2 rookies in the top part of the order this year.

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I don’t see the stars aligning for us this year unless one more very major move is accomplished. Wit the pitching we have it will only take a methodical disciplined plate approach by the lineup to provide enough runs to win. But you absolutely do need that 3 run HR in our leage to win you enough games to be there at the end.

Looks like the Damon story isn’t going away, so may as well address it. The reason this story stays on the front burner, obviously, is that he’s a perfect fit for this year’s team needs. His presence takes the pressure off Jackson, and also allows Sizemore to settle in and play his rookie season, start to finish. Damon gets on base and provides a more visible veteran presence than some of our current veterans do. All of that being said, if Mr. Damon really wants to play for Detroit, he should instruct his agent to make it happen. Simple as that. I’m sure that Boras and DD can reach a deal that’s mutually acceptable to both parties. DD can do what he does best, which is come up with something creative in the contract end of things.
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If Boras and Damon are just trying to talk up a contract that’s more than Johnny is worth at this point in time, I wish they’d just take their road show to another town. Myself, I can take him or leave him.
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–Rich

Well although the idea of Damon’s bat interests me somewhat. The idea of him and his outfield play is enough to make me say it isn’t so. Are there many worse outfielders and arms out their. With a rookie in center and Magglio in right can we really afford a below average arm in left??? I think that Boras thinks he can smooze and flatter his way in here and I think that Damon is desperate.

Crosby, Turner, and Oliver are three solid pitching propsects. The Tigers have no Top 30 talent- and there are 30 clubs.
After Sizemore and Jackson are promoted, there are zero complete, impact position players in the organization, IMO.
Nunez and Fields look promising, and full of tools, but they’re years away from showtime.
If Inge bombs out again this year like he did after the break last year, there’s no backup plan. Everett will bomb out again, and DD had no replacement. Nor is there a replacement on the way.
Strieby is the best hitter on the farm, but he’s got no position and has to move to the OF. Wells, Wilkin Ramirez, and Boesch have huge holes in their swings.
We’re okay on the mound, both the rotation and the pen. But DD will have to go shopping next winter for some infield and outfield help.

Interesting if the Tigers acquire the poor defense lefty for the top of the order effectively as insurance for Jackson in CF and Carlos staying healthy.
Coming after you ditched gold glove Polly effectively for the same money with Ramon alone as backup to Everett and the recovering novice Sizemore?
The only thing I can think of in DD’s defense is Mr I. loosened the pay strings since October.
Arguable where our greatest needs are – infield worries me slightly more than the outfield. The flexibility of lefty Adam Kennedy to play infield and out to me seems the ideal fit tha Damon offers.

I forgot to add, it will be downright criminal if we go into another season with no Plan B for 3B which Kennedy is more than capable playing together with his experience as leadoff.
If you can’t get a free agent cheap that ticks most of the boxes which IMO Kennedy does and Damon doesn’t, DD will likely hold off and trade a few surplus lefty relievers for position players through spring training.

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