Last week, MLB.com posted their top 100 prospects list for the 2012 season. I’m sure most of you missed it because of the Prince Fielder signing news. So, as always, Tiger Tizzy is here to keep you informed.
Coming in at #15 is Tigers RHP Jacob Turner, who is in the running for Detroit’s #5 slot in the rotation in Spring Training.Turner is considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball coming in to last season, and despite posting his 0-1 8.53 ERA numbers in his brief MLB career thus far, he remains an elite prospect.By most accounts Turner will never end up getting to the JV-type numbers in his career - but then again who will, he should end up becoming a solid #2 or at worst #3 starter over his career.I’m going to date myself here, but I would say that Dan Petry, ended up with a pretty decent career as a #2 behind Jack Morris.
Next up is 3B prospect Nick Castellanos, who came in as the #51 prospect. The 20-year old Castellanos will more than likely start the 2012 season at High-A Lakeland.With his decent .312/.367/.436 numbers last year at LoA West Michigan, Castellanos still projects out to be a quality MLB 3b over the course of his career.His power numbers (7 HR) at West Michigan were less than the club expected, but as many experts surmise, some of his 36 Doubles will end up going for more distance as his frame fills out.
Rounding out the Tigers 3 prospects is a kid who has gotten an awful lot of publicity over the past few months, like this mention by GM Dave Dombrowski, (via Jason Beck’s blog) and being on the list of this post on fangraphs.com, which gives another look at the Tigers top 15 prospects.
Without any further delay, coming in at #82 is LHP Drew Smyly. Smyly is described as a solid #4-type starter.Smyly, throws 4 pitches well with good control, but his lack of “plus” velocity will limit his upside, but his make-up and control should enable him to be a solid MLB starter as he progresses.
Smyly and Castellanos have been invited to Spring Training in Lakeland as non-roster invites. You can find the entire list of non-roster invitees here, as well as key dates for Spring Training 2012.
With Turner, the Tigers should have a nice compliment to Justin Verlander at the top of the rotation in the near future, and if Smyly ends up progressing as the Tigers perceive, he will add nice depth and solid LH arm to a strong right-handed rotation of Verlander, Turner, Porcello and Fister. Castellanos reminds me, from everything that I have seen, as a Travis Fryman-type player at 3B, albeit with slightly less average but more power.Turner and Smyly should be entrenched in the Tigers rotation by the end of 2013, with Castellanos joining them as a fixture at 3B by the end of 2014 if not sooner.