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Down on the farm: July edition

July 6, 2010

John Stroba-Writer

After waiting on the results of my dad's biopsy (no cancer....yay!!), and after a restful 4th of July it is time to get back into the daily grind of blogging about the Tigers. And before diving into who should they be looking at acquiring and rumors of who they (or the Twins) could be acquiring; it makes sense to look at the prospects that could be enticing for other teams. This look only includes players that are in the minors currently.

Toledo MudHens (41-44)

Scott Sizemore 2b: The 25 year old does start the year in Detroit, but really struggled hitting combining that with some struggles in the field leads a summer time demotion to Glass City. Sizmore is hitting the ball down in Toledo as one would expect, and his fielding seems solid. However, blocking his way is Carlos Guillen. Guillen is a much better offensive player than Sizemore is right now. In addition, Guillen's contract does have another year on it. As long as Guillen stays healthy (and that is always a question with Guillen) and is not awful in the field, Sizemore is going to be blocked. That means that Sizemore is probably looking at being 27 year old starter at 2b two years from now. So, the Tigers very well might be willing to give him up as some trade bait for a playoff spot this year. Sizemore is hitting the ball pretty well down there (.315/.385/.465) and doing a solid enough job controlling the strike zone.

Ryan Strieby 1b: Not great overall numbers for Strieby on the year (250/336/435), but since coming back from a wrist injury he is showing more patience and power at the plate. Stribey does have very good power, maybe the most raw power in the Tigers system, and an idea of what the strike zone (rare for a Tigers prospect). However, he is defensively limited to playing 1b and 1b prospects are not in that much demand around MLB. His best asset is his bat.

Jay Sborz RP: Sborz does have very good stuff it ranks right up their with any minor league Tigers pitcher. However, until the last couple of years he did have no clue where the ball is going once it leaves his hand. Putting up some solid though not great numbers (3.45 ERA 1.245 WHIP 15 saves). He still walks way too many (4.3), but strikes out a ton (9.2). While he is not going to be a centerpiece any time soon, Sborz could be a nice sweetener in the deal. Teams do love power arms.

Robbie Weinhardt RP: A much more likely candidate to be dealt. Weinhardt is back in Toledo after rehabbing an injury. A stellar season so far for Weinhardt (1-0 1.98 ERA .951 WHIP in 19 games). Weinhardt does have the look of major league contributor in the bullpen. The question is if he will be a closer. Definitely, a player teams are going to be looking for in return with a possible deal.

Erie Seawolves (33-51)

Zach Simons RP: The Tigers no longer have Simons on their 40 man roster, so they would probably part with him without too much trouble. Scouts think that his fastball/slider combination coming into the year is not quite good enough for the majors. It is hard to argue with the numbers that he is putting up in Erie (1-3 3svs 2.66 ERA 1.082WHIP). He does walk a few (15 in 40.2 ip) but strikes out a lot (46 in 40.2ip). A nice arm that a team might want to take a chance on. Again not a centerpiece but some sweetener.

Lakeland Flying Tigers (39-40)

Daniel Fields CF: Fields is playing Advance A-ball as a 19 year old and is holding his own there (239/346/348). The power is going to come in time as well. The most surprising development is that Fields does have a pretty good idea of the strike zone (31bb/62k). The question is if that is legit eye or more along the lines of A+ level pitchers having trouble with the strike zone. Fields does strikeout a bit much, but mostly likely those levels will drop as he gets older. A definite blue chip prospect right now.

Jacob Turner RHP: Turner gets a promotion up to Lakeland in his first pro season after putting up some very nice numbers at West Michigan (2-3 3.67 ERA, 1.148 WHIP). Turner is a power pitcher that shows very good control, another reason he got the promotion (9bb/51k in 54ip). In two starts, he is getting roughed up in Lakeland, but that is going to be a good for him in the long run. He does have the potential to be an ace in the rotation. Another blue chipper for the Tigers.

West Michigan Whitecap (29-51)

Giovanni Soto RHP: Like Turner, Soto is also 19 years old. He comes with a lot less fan fare, but his performance is speaking for itself (5-5 2.30 ERA 1.184 WHIP 23bb/71k in 74.1ip this season). Soto right now looks like he could be something that is pretty good. He does have a live arm, but it should be said that lots of pitchers look good in Low A ball and never pan out in the majors.


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