Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.
Conor Glassey will answer questions about the Tigers farm system beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Hey everybody - thanks for reading the
Tigers Top 10 and visiting the chat. Let's get going a few minutes early
because I've got some calls to make after this...
Gary (DETROIT): How far down did Schlereth slide this year? Is he still a legit reliever in your eyes?
Hey Gary - Schlereth wasn't actually
eligible for the list this year because, while he didn't have 50 innings
in the big leagues, he had more than 30 relief appearances, so he's out
because of what we call the "Daniel Bard rule." His stock stayed about
the same this year and would have ranked in the 6-9 range.
JAYPERS (IL): Would a Longoria comparison be too optimistic for Castellanos if he lives up to the billing in pro ball? If not him, who?
The Longoria comps have been thrown out
there, but I think they are on the optimistic side. Castellanos
certainly excites the Tigers and they were thrilled to get him where
they did in the draft. Tools-wise, it's easy to see why they're excited.
He's a guy that could hit .300 with 25 home runs, but let's wait and
see what he does in his first full season of pro ball before we start
comparing him to one of the best players in the majors.
Chuck (Wichita): Andy Dirks had a solid season
in AA and AAA. Will he make the top 30, and do you see him getting a
chance in Detroit at some point?
Andy Dirks did have a very nice season.
David Chadd loves that guy and he insists it's not just because he's
from Wichita State! Dirks isn't a guy that wows scouts with standout
tools, so it's understandable that his own organization likes him more
than other scouts that see him for a few games on a time. Dirks ranks
highly in the Top 30, but to see where, you should buy the book!
bell biv devoe (hollywood): I personally believe Andy Oliver is a reliever. What do you think?
The Tigers will give him every
opportunity to stick as a starter and I believe in the size, the
fastball and the progress he made with his secondary stuff this year to
think he'll wind up as a solid mid-rotation guy.
Greg T (London, ON): Do you believe Brennan
Boesch is a one-year wonder or will he be able to produce enough to
continue to be a starting outfielder?
I think Brennan Boesch was more of a
half-year wonder: .342/.397/.593 in the first half vs. .163/.237/.222 in
the second half. Obviously I think his true talent level is somewhere
between those two, but I think Boesch ultimately winds up as a part-time
Dave (Atlanta): Was it really necessary for the
Tigers to add Cale Iorg to the 40 man roster? It doesn't seem likely
that another team would take a player who hit .211/.248/.337 while
repeating his league.
I had a good feeling they were going to
add Iorg, and not just because they gave him a lot of money. His
fielding would be above-average in the big leagues right now, and if
you're taking a Rule 5 guy, you could do worse than that. I think he
would have been picked in the Rule 5. Look at some of the guys the guys
that got 300+ PA at SS in the big leagues this year: Cesar Izturis (.545
OPS), Josh Wilson (.572), Brendan Ryan (.573)...defense really matters
at shortstop and there's only one Troy Tulowitzki.
Dave (Atlanta): After a weak season in the NYP, any chance that James Robbins moves to pitching?
His numbers weren't great, but it's a
tough environment for a guy one year out of high school. The Tigers
still believe in his bat and so do I.
Michael (Towson, MD): Wade Gaynor had a nice
season after performing poorly after the draft in 2009. Is there still
concern over him offensively or defensively, that kept him out of the
It was a nice season, but his swing can
get long - which leaves a hole on the inside part of the plate. He made
some strides defensively, but scouts said they still had to warm up to
him to rate him as average. He wasn't very close to the Top 10 and has
his work cut out for him, being behind Castellanos & Martinez on the
Nick (DC): Who has the highest ceiling of the left hander starters Oliver, Crosby, or Smyly?
Crosby's ceiling is probably the
highest, but he's the least likely of the three to reach it at this
point. Purely on ceiling, I'd rank them Crosby-Oliver-Smyly. But when
you factor in ceiling + likelihood it's Oliver-Crosby-Smyly, like I
ranked them in the Top 10.
Andrew (Minneapolis): Brayan Villarreal seems
like a notable omission from this list. His numbers are solid, he has
an out pitch, and his velocity isn't a major problem. He made the AA
transition quite successfully. Can you give a short scouting report on
him and explain why he's not a top-ten talent in this system?
Villarreal did have a good season and is
around the middle of the list. What kept him out of the Top 10 is that
his fastball can be too straight and his secondary stuff can be easy to
spot coming out of his hand. When you combine those things with his
size, scouts still project him out as a bullpen guy in the long run.
Joe (Pontiac, MI): What the latest health
update on Strieby? Do you think he has a chance to contribute as a
solid regular or more of a bench player even with good health?
It's too bad about Strieby - I know I'm
preaching to the choir here, but I'd really like to see what he can do
when healthy over a full season. I still think he winds up as a bench
player because he's not going to be taking Miguel Cabrera's job and the
reviews of his defense in left field are lukewarm. He'd be a nice bat to
have off the bench, though.
pootie tang (michigan): Ortega over Oliveros? That one surprises me. Is it because of the
Oretega does have a better fastball and a
better slider. Oliveros' best secondary pitch is his changeup. They're
pretty close though, you're right.
Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, awesome work
as always, and thank you for the chat. Who among this year's 3B draftees
has the highest upside: Castellanos, Cox, or Cowart?
Thanks, Joe. I would rank them: Cox, Cowart, Castellanos.
Frank (MI): Is Steven Moya someone to keep an eye on?
Yeah, still someone to keep an eye on, but he's a loooong ways away.
Ron (boston): what are your thoughts and projections on 2 younger Tigers prospects Javier Azcona and Danry Vazquez?
and also your thoughts on what the Tigers bringing Eddie Bane and Tim Hallgren on board will mean for them in the future.
Both sound very exciting! Azcona for his
strength and defensive versatility - he could really break out next
year. Vazquez is the recipient of the Tigers' biggest international
bonus ever and stands out for his size, bat speed and arm strength. With
regard to bringing in Bane and Hallgren, I think it's a great move.
Anytime your organization can add scouts with the experience they have,
you're going to be better for it.
sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Who are the best Tigers catching specs in the system?
With Alex Avila graduated, the best catching prospects in the Tigers system are 2010 draftees Bryan Holaday & Rob Brantly.
Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, is there anyone flying under the radar who you could see making a big step forward in 2011?
I'm excited to see what RHP Bruce Rondon will do in full-season ball. He's raw, but has a big fastball up to 98.
sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Is there any SS in the Tigers system worth mentioning that could be a part of the future?
Iorg is the highest-rated shortstop in the system, but the Tigers resigned Jhonny Peralta for two years, so that's okay.
Ben (Leland Grove): What's your evaluation of Charlie Furbush? Is he in your 11-15 range?
The funky lefty is more deception than stuff. He's in the 30, but not in the 15.
JAYPERS (IL): If you had to pick, which hitter and pitcher would you give the label of Best Sleeper to?
Good question. I'll give you a pitcher
other than Rondon, who I already touched on. Hitter: Corey Jones (really
good feel for hitting, where he'll play is the question). Pitcher: Matt
Hoffman (sitting mid-90s from the left side after moving to the bullpen
with a hard, tight slider).
sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): What players in the Tigers top 10 might we see in the majors sometime this year?
Five of the Tigers 2009 Top 10 guys
played in the big leagues this year. Next year, I think you'll see
Oliver & maybe Chance Ruffin.
Nick (DC): What are your thoughts on Gustavo Nunez?
The defense is still there, but the bat
really stalled out this season and he'll already be 23 next year. I got a
little overheated on Nunez last year and he came down quite a bit in
this year's rankings.
Nick (DC): Do you think Castellanos can stay at 3rd?
Nick (DC): Where does Turner sit on the overall prospect list? Top 10? Top 25?
Haven't begun to dig in deep on my personal Minor League Top 100, but Top 25 sounds about right for Turner. Not Top 10 yet.
Thanks everybody for all the great
questions! Wish I could chat more, but I need to buckle down on my
Mariners list! You can follow me on Twitter @conorglassey and make sure
to check back on Monday for our Chicago White Sox Top 10 & chat with
Phil Rogers. Happy Thanksgiving!