Detroit Tigers Top 10 Prospects Chat With Conor Glassey




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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.

Moderator: Conor Glassey will answer questions about the Tigers farm system beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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 guy.

    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.

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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 Top 10?

Conor Glassey: 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 depth chart.

    Nick (DC): Who has the highest ceiling of the left hander starters Oliver, Crosby, or Smyly?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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 fastball?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: Thanks, Joe. I would rank them: Cox, Cowart, Castellanos.

    Frank (MI): Is Steven Moya someone to keep an eye on?

Conor Glassey: 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.

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: 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?

Conor Glassey: Yes.

    Nick (DC): Where does Turner sit on the overall prospect list? Top 10? Top 25?

Conor Glassey: 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.

Conor Glassey: 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!