2014 Minor League Keeper Thoughts: Detroit Tigers

Dave Reginek

The prospect staff at Fake Teams continues their fantasy prospect rankings and system reviews with an in-depth look at the Detroit Tigers

The prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking an in-depth look at each major league organization, including our top 10 fantasy prospects, an overview of the organization's minor league system as a whole and potential opportunities for playing time in 2014. Our goal is to provide you with more information as you prepare for minor league drafts for dynasty and keeper leagues, as well as look at players that could potentially be worth watching during the spring, as they could be in line to potentially help your fantasy team. We will be reviewing two teams per week until we are through all 30 teams, and you can see the schedule of when your favorite team will be reviewed below.

System Schedule

AL East

AL Central

AL West

NL East

NL Central

NL West

Baltimore

Chicago

Houston
(11/18)

Atlanta
(12/5)

Chicago
(12/23)

Arizona
(1/9)

Boston

Cleveland

Los Angeles
(11/21)

Miami
(12/9)

Cincinnati
(12/26)

Colorado
(1/13)

New York

Detroit
(11/7)

Oakland
(11/25)

New York
(12/12)

Milwaukee
(12/30)

Los Angeles
(1/16)

Tampa Bay

Kansas City
(11/11)

Seattle
(11/28)

Philadelphia
(12/16)

Pittsburgh
(1/2)

San Diego
(1/20)

Toronto

Minnesota
(11/14)

Texas
(12/2)

Washington
(12/19)

St. Louis
(1/6)

San Francisco
(1/23)

Organizational Overview
By Jason Hunt(@jasonsbaseball)

The Tigers are coming off their third straight appearance in the American League Championship Series, and all signs point to that being a distinct possibility again in 2014. The major league team (as you'll read below) is very well stocked to continue this run, and despite improvements by the teams within their division, seems likely to repeat as division champs for a fourth straight year.

The Tigers are known at this point for not having a strong farm system, but despite this continue to receive production from it. While the system has produced a few key players (Justin Verlander, Alex Avila, Drew Smyly on this year's team), they have tended to use their farm system to acquire other players instead. Their ability to acquire impact talent via trade during the Dave Dombrowski era has been second-to-none. Their pro talent evaluators have helped the team to acquire key players like Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson and Doug Fister over the years without giving up a similar level of talent in return. Add in a willingness to spend money to bring in free agents almost without regard for a budget (and also a willingness to give up the related draft picks as well), and the Major League team will likely be competitive for years to come.

The minor league system itself is not littered with a lot of top 100 prospects, which isn't really a big surprise given the Tigers' usage of the system. Outside of Nick Castellanos, there are a lot of questions regarding the long-term impact that they will provide for the Tigers. That's not to say that there aren't interesting prospects, with players like Jonathon Crawford, Devon Travis and Jake Thompson potentially providing the Tigers and fantasy owners with value down the line. That said, this system appears to be in better shape this offseason than in offseasons' past. There is talent down there, and will allow the team to be flexible when it comes to making trades should they desire to do so.

2013 Graduates

The following players have surpassed their rookie maximums of 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days of service time prior to September 1st of this year.

Jose Iglesias (at bats), Hernan Perez (service time), Bruce Rondon (service time), Darin Downs (service time), Luke Putkonen (service time)

Major League Opportunities in 2014
By Jason Hunt(@jasonsbaseball)

The upgrades for the Tigers are actually relatively apparent, given the number of players already under contract for the foreseeable future. Second base is in need of help, with Omar Infante filing for free agency, and the team's best prospect at the position (Devon Travis) played at High-A this year. They could look to resign Infante for another year, or even potentially try to go for broke and make a run at Robinson Cano.

Left field has been a mixture of players that either don't fit the position (Jhonny Peralta), or are barely above replacement level (Andy Dirks). Top prospect Nick Castellanos was moved to the outfield midway through 2012, and would seem likely to be given the best chance to take hold of the starting job there.

The rotation is well set with likely Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, and last year's big free agent signee Anibal Sanchez at the top. Even the bottom half is well set with Doug Fister and Rick Porcello holding down the last two spots. There have been early rumors that the team could potentially trade Scherzer, but that seems a bit unlikely unless some team drastically overpays.

The Tigers appeared to have their closer in Joaquin Benoit, but of course he is now eligible for free agency. The closer's job could still be handed over to Bruce Rondon, as it appeared would happen at the start of spring training this year, but it also would not surprise me if the Tigers went out and spent on a top tier closer like Joe Nathan, or a second-tier option like Grant Balfour.

Another move that has been speculated, which I believe could make a lot of sense, would be to gauge the trade market for Victor Martinez, who will be in the final year of his contract in 2014. Opening up the DH spot and potentially bringing in a third baseman/DH combo to help give Cabrera rest as needed without causing a huge drop off at the other position could be an addition by subtraction for the Tigers.

Overall, the team that reached the ALCS this year is well suited to make another run in 2014. The team has never been shy about spending when needed, and while I don't think it is likely that the team signs Robinson Cano, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they tried to make a move like that.

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects
By Brian Creagh(@briancreagh)

Our top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are based upon standard 5x5 fantasy baseball leagues, with a balancing of ceiling and present value. While we are having discussions regarding these lists as a collective group, the top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are finalized by the writer listed above. Players are no longer considered prospects once they exceed either 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days of service time in the Majors prior to September 1st.

20130219_jla_sv7_247.0
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - US Presswire

#1 Nick Castellanos (OF/3B)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.276

82

18

76

4

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

145

0.341

0.445

8.8%

16.5%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

R/R

On 40 Man Roster (3 options left)

AAA, MLB

The definitive top prospect in the Detroit system, Nick Castellanos is poised to make a big impact in fantasy leagues in 2014. Since being drafted 44th overall in 2010, Castellanos has made pre-season Top 100 lists due to his excellent overall offensive profile. 2014 will be his age 22 season, and after mashing in AAA for most of 2013 to the tune of .276/.343/.450 Castallanos earned a late season promotion to The Show for some time in left field. Coming up the system as a third basemen, Castellanos made a shift to the outfield during the 2012 season, following Miguel Cabrera's transition to third base.

Castellanos figures to fill out as he matures and increased power numbers should come along with it. He has a smooth, line drive swing and a bat that stays in the zone a long time, translating into a high-average hitter when everything clicks - and in my opinion it's a matter of "when" and not "if" it clicks. My only question for Castellanos is how much power ultimately develops. Given his current swing plane we could be looking at a 20-25 HR guy with ~.290 average, and those are numbers that will definitely play in LF, but Castellanos won't contribute much in the way of steals so the value is limited if that's the ceiling. There might still be 30+ HR at peak, but a change in current approach might be needed to get there.

Some of the best things going for Castellanos is the Tigers' pending holes in the corner OF spots as neither Andy Dirks and Don Kelly have a firm grasp on the LF job, and Torii Hunter is gone after 2014 - Castellanos definitely has the arm for RF. This is to say it's pretty safe to project a full season's worth of at-bats for Castellanos in 2014 and with the offense poised to be just as explosive next year, Castellanos has a chance to accumulate some nice counting stats when the season is all over.

As I mentioned before, the biggest question mark for Castellanos from a fantasy perspective is forecasting the HR potential. He looks more and more like a 20 HR guy, but he has the bat speed and hand eye coordination to bump that up as he matures. Personally, I fall on the lower end of the spectrum, and fortunately that still leaves him as an extremely valuable fantasy asset and someone worth investing in long-term. One of the safest bats in the minors at the moment.

20120610_lbm_af6_160.0
Photo Credit: Rob Foldy - US Presswire

#2 Jonathon Crawford (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

0

0

1.89

1.26

21

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

19

0

3

10.8%

25.3%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect After 2016)

A

As someone who is more risk-averse and typically falls in love with higher floor players, I deviate from that philosophy here with Crawford who is one of the riskier arms in all of the 2013 draft. Selected 20th overall by Detroit after his junior season at the University of Florida and signed for a $2 million bonus, Jonathon Crawford is a righty with an electric two-pitch arsenal that looks an awful lot like a reliever at the present. Crawford started 8 games after being drafted in June, but only managed 19 innings while being on a strict pitch count every outing. The numbers were impressive: 1.89 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and a 4.3 BB/9, but the sample size is too small to draw any meaningful analysis from the raw numbers.

Crawford features a fastball that sits 90-93 mph, a wipeout slider that is present borderline plus, and a developing changeup that is crucial to his future as a starter. Crawford thrived in college by living off his fastball/slider combo but the command isn't quite there on the fastball and the mechanics have some kinks that need to be worked out.

Standing only 6 feet 1 inch, Crawford's fastball has a tendency to get a little flat and, mixed with spotty command, means some work is needed before he can rely on it to get ahead of hitters and decrease the walk rate. His delivery isn't doing him any favors with the command either, as Crawford is stiff during the windup and his arm action is anything but loose. The velocity already took a step back between his Sophomore and Junior year of college and I'm curious if his arm can hold up over a long career with his herky-jerky motion. The early decrease in velocity is not promising.

With all of the negatives out of the way, Crawford still comes in at number 2 in the system and that's because the dream and ceiling is still there for a number 2 starter. The changeup, even though miles away from plus, has shown some flashes. If the off-speed fully develops and he gets a few ticks back on the fastball to go with his a putaway slider, Crawford can be an early fantasy option. The walks will always be an issue barring a complete mechanical overhaul, but if he can settle in to the 3.5 BB/9 range, he can still be an extremely effective starter. I have a feeling I will come to regret putting Crawford this high, but in a system void of much ceiling Crawford's the prettiest girl at the dance.

#3 Jake Thompson (LHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

3

0

3.14

1.34

91

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

83.1

0.43

0.93

8.6%

24.6%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

R/R

Not On 40-Man Roster (Protect After 2016 Season)

A

My favorite arm in the Detroit system is Jake Thompson, the high school second round pick in the 2012 draft. A 6'4" right-hander, Thompson projects to be a workhorse starter and a reliable fantasy option for many years. Next year will be only his age-20 season so the development clock has some time left, but the early indicators have been almost all positive. His 2013 season was split between extended spring training and the Midwest League of Single A ball and Thompson held up considerably well there, posting a 3.31 ERA in 83.1 innings pitched and a 9.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

I wrote a more in-depth piece on Thompson here where I concluded that Thompson should ultimately slide in to the back of a rotation with a small likelihood of becoming a high-leverage reliever. His high strikeout totals and high probability of sticking as a starter make him a safe investment for fantasy purposes. I do fear a future drop in strikeout numbers, due to his current lack of a putaway pitch, but with his long road ahead I can't hold his limited present arsenal against him too much.

The repertoire consists of a fastball, slider, changeup, and developing curveball with both the fastball flashing plus and his curveball getting some good initial reviews. The slider has been his go-to pitch early in his career, but it lacks the late bite to get big league hitters out. He does command it well, so it should be a useful pitch, but the curveball/changeup combo is going to need to make some strides in order to sustain the strikeout per inning rate he put up last season. The biggest knock on Thompson might be his lack of fastball command. He's all over the zone with his fastball and expresses much more trust in his slider than his fastball. I suspect this is something that will be worked on heavily next season, and as a result we could see some poor starts out of Thompson as he finds the command of his sinking, low-90s fastball.

Thompson is an athletic pitcher with a clean delivery coming from a three-quarters arm angle. The Tigers had to work with him on raising his arm slot, as it fell below three-quarters in Spring Training this year. This coincided with a 3-4 mph drop in fastball velo, but it seems Thompson nipped this in the bud before pitching in the Midwest League. The Tigers have kept the training wheels on Thompson, not letting him go more than 5 innings in a start, so it will be interesting to see how offenses respond to seeing him a third time through the order. He will have to mix his changeup and fastball in more often in order to see sustained success. There is some risk in the profile here, but for a 19-year old arm so early into his development, the floor is pretty high despite the low-ish ceiling.

20130319_ajw_af6_120.0
Photo Credit: Rob Foldy - USA Today Sports

#4 Devon Travis (2B)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.351

93

16

76

22

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

132

0.418

0.518

9.2%

11.1%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect after 2015)

A, A+

Another personal favorite of mine, Devon Travis can rake. Unfortunately, his incredible bat control and quick hands are coming from a 22 year old, 5'9" frame that is anything but projectable. Selected in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Florida State University, Travis was a great find by the Tigers scouting department. He started off on fire in the Midwest League and earned a midseason promotion to Hi-A. Not only did the hot hitting continue, but he busted out with some unexpected power, ending his combined season with a .351/.418/.518 triple slash, 16 HRs, 22 SBs, and an unbelievable 64/53 K/BB rate.

From the toe tap, to the load, to the fast hands everything about Devon Travis' swing is quick-twitch, yet he manages to look in control of both the strike zone and his body at all times. The numbers for Travis tell the story of a player much higher on a fantasy baseball prospect list, and the reason he slots in at 4 is the uncertainty of how these numbers carry over to the next level. He's a smart base runner, but he's not a burner, so 20+ steals seems almost out of the question. His swing is quick and leveraged, but he doesn't get a ton of loft on the ball, so 20 home runs seems a bit out of reach, and so all we're left with his an empty average guy with an excellent approach.

The low ceiling shouldn't scare fantasy owners away from Devon Travis, because he's going to make an impact on the game in some capacity, and while I think a Pedroia comp is extremely lazy and doesn't fit very well, there is some utility in recognizing that a diminutive stature does not preclude Travis from having excellent fantasy value. If he becomes a .300 hitter with 15 HRs and 10-15 SBs every season, he's a Top 10 second basemen.

20130219_jla_sv7_248.0
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - US Presswire

#5 Tyler Collins (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.240

67

21

79

4

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

129

0.323

0.438

9.6%

23.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

23

L/L

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect after 2014)

AA

Tyler Collins is an extremely interesting prospect who took an interesting turn in 2013. Drafted out of high school in the 6th round of the 2011 draft, Collins has always fit the corner outfield mold due to his strong, stocky build at 5'11", 215 lbs. His defense is barely average, relegating him to a LF projection where his bat will have to carry him - an ideal target for fantasy owners. Collins has risen through the minors quickly, and one step at a time ending up in AA for 2013.

Early in his career, Collins handled the bat like a slugging corner outfielder, but the power output never matched up with only 15 HRs in his first 169 games. It wasn't a huge issue as his approach at the plate was outstanding, sporting an 81/70 K/BB ratio across the same time frame. In 2013, Collins faced his biggest test by moving up to AA, and he finished with mixed results. The power finally developed, but the approach appears to have taken a big step backwards. Collins hit 21 HRs in 129 games to go with 122 K's and a still-impressive 51 BBs.

All in all, this season might be seen as a step back for Collins, but I do think there is a lot of promise in this bat. He's shown excellent patience early on, and he's shown an aggressive, power-focused attack this past season. If he can take a little bit of both and find a happy middle ground, there is a productive left field package waiting to make an impact.

 20130219_jla_sv7_239.0
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - US Presswire

#6 Jose Alvarez (LHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

9

1

3.52

1.18

146

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

166.4

0.97

1.10

5.9%

21.2%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

24

L/L

On 40 Man Roster (3 Options Remaining)

AAA, MLB

Jose Alvarez burst out of seemingly nowhere and came out to a hot start in the Detroit rotation in early June. The success was not long lasting as he finished with a 5.14 ERA in 28 innings as a starter, but showed a glimmer of hope that he could fill a big league rotation spot and have sustained success. Signed out by Boston in 2005 out of Venezuela, Alvarez has had stints with the Red Sox and Marlins before settling in Detroit.

Alvarez features a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, with his best pitch being the changeup. The off-speed offering gets a ton of late, arm-side fade and comes in around 78 mph, helping keep hitters off his 89 mph heater. Both the slider and curveball induced some silly looking swings when Alvarez was going right, but they became few and far between as more hitters had a chance to see Alvarez's stuff.

I still think Alvarez carves out a role in the back of a rotation, but it's hard to see the path in Detroit's crowded situation. If the sub-par major league results in a small sample size have you concerned, take a look at his 2013 AAA numbers: 2.80 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 in 128.2 innings pitched. Alvarez is more than capable of finding success and putting up solid fantasy numbers.

20130219_jla_sv7_211.0
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - US Presswire

#7 James McCann (C)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.277

50

8

54

3

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

119

0.328

0.404

6.2%

17.5%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

23

L/L

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect after 2014)

AA

A second round pick in 2011 out of the University of Arkansas, James McCann holds most of his fantasy value from his decent offensive profile paired with his likelihood of sticking behind the plate at catcher. As a college bat, McCann was pushed aggressively through the system, reaching AA for 64 games during his first full professional season. His quick ascension through the system has made it difficult to get a read on his bat and whether he's going to hit enough to be a starting catcher in the majors.

McCann's future as a catcher is a lock as he displays an above-average arm, athleticism behind the plate, and all the intangibles you like to see out of your catcher: high character, on-field leadership, handles a pitching staff, etc. Defensively he has the chops, but I'm not sure the offense comes around to the point where he becomes a true threat in fantasy circles. His hit tool is pretty far behind the rest of his skills and it does not allow his 50 grade power to manifest itself in games.

His 2013 results are encouraging, as he hit .277 in 119 games in AA. It was nice to see him find success after finally settling into one location for an extended period, but keep in mind he had 230 plate appearances in AA last year so this was a bit like repeating the league for McCann. The jump he made is still note-worthy and shows some legitimate progression in his offense, but as has always been the case, a clear projection is difficult to get your arms around. I think the offensive upside is double digit home runs and a .260 AVG - numbers that play in two catcher leagues.

#8 Steven Moya (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.255

52

12

55

6

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

388

0.296

0.433

4.6%

27.3%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

L/R

Not On 40-Man Roster (Protect This Offseason)

A+

Moya has the most raw power of anyone in the system grading out to an easy 70. A mountain of a man standing 6'7" and 230 lbs, he is a left handed masher that could be a middle of the order piece if everything breaks right. Even with his enormous size, Moya still projects well into RF because of his above-average arm, and average speed in the outfield; this is big from a fantasy perspective because his bat won't have to carry him as much as if he were a 1B-only prospect.

Moya does have a ton of risk, the most pertinent being his recent Tommy John Surgery, which he has returned to the field from, but it remains to be seen how it will ultimately impact his future as an outfielder. His swing is very long to the ball and results in a lot of strikeouts. As is usually the case with toolsy prospects, it all hinges on the hit tool and whether it will allow his massive raw power to play. It will likely never reach its' peak, but it could improve enough to have Moya become a 25 HR factor. He struggled as a 21-year old in Hi-A, striking out 106 times in 93 games, so it will be an uphill battle for sure, but the potential is certainly there and worth acknowledging.

#9 Corey Knebel (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

2

15

0.87

0.77

41

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

31

0.00

1.36

8.5%

35.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not On 40-Man Roster (Protect After 2016 Season)

A

The second of two first round draft picks by the Tigers in 2013, Corey Knebel was another college arm selected out of Texas University. Knebel appears destined for a relief role, but the stuff is so overwhelming that a relief role has a high likelihood of becoming a closer. Knebel's fastball touches the upper 90's and is paired with a hammer curveball that is a putaway pitch. This two pitch mix is enough for him to succeed as a reliever, but he has shown some feel for the changeup and I wonder if the Tigers give him a shot at starting next season.

His delivery is unorthodox and not very clean - another point towards a future relief role, but there is a lot of deception in it as well and it could befuddle hitters who only get to see him one time a night. There is also some legitimate makeup concerns as he has suspended twice in college, but the makeup issues aren't as large a deal when talking about a high-leverage reliever who seem to be mostly headcases anyways (Hi, Brian Wilson). Knebel could rise quickly through the system if the reliever role is set in stone, so look for quick returns if you're investing here.

20130219_jla_sv7_220.0
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - US Presswire

#10 Eugenio Suarez (SS)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.253

53

9

45

9

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

111

0.332

0.387

9.3%

19.8%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect This Offseason)

AA

Suarez is a guy I really liked heading into 2013, and while he didn't damage his stock by his performance, he didn't do much to clear up both the offensive and defensive question marks surrounding his game. Suarez was signed in 2011 out of Venezuela and has spent his entire professional career playing shortstop. I'm not convinced he has the ability to stick, and a shift to second base, outfield, or possibly even third base seems appropriate. Suarez hasn't struggled much at the plate, always hitting for a high average and showing decent pop and accumulating solid stolen base totals (although his efficiency is miserable), but his profile is one that doesn't project a high offensive ceiling or much of a ceiling at all.

Suarez has a contact-oriented approach that generates little power despite what the 10 HRs this season might suggest. Even though he doesn't look to drive a lot of pitches, Suarez still manages to swing and miss a whole lot, which is arguably the biggest red flag in his offensive profile. He struck out 123 times in 136 games in 2013 and even with an impressive 60 walks registered, the strike out tallies are far too high for a player not providing any offensive punch. It shows that there are holes in his swing and pitch recognition skills that will undoubtedly be exploited in the higher levels.

He has been age appropriate for his level throughout his development and will begin 2014 at 22 years old, where I would expect to see him repeat AA briefly. He's a flier in deep dynasty leagues as we try to find out of the power has any chance of sticking as well as his defensive profile at SS. The value alters dramatically if he's moved off SS or 2B since the middling average and low power totals don't hold in the OF or 3B from a fantasy context.

Other Interesting Prospects
By Brian Creagh (@briancreagh)

Austin Schotts - Athletic kid who made the move from SS to CF this past season. Could end up being a solid leadoff hitter: already has plus-plus speed but the hit tool needs to make a big step forward before that projection holds a lot of weight. Struggled in his initial jump to full-season ball and ended up being sent down a level. A bounce back in 2014 could put him firmly in the Top 10 going forward since he has a nice fantasy profile.

Kevin Ziomek - Tigers second round pick in 2013 draft, who doesn't have a standout offering. A college arm without a ton of projection left, and an average fastball at the present, Ziomek will have to rely on his plus changeup to get hitters out on a consistent basis. Consistency in the delivery and mechanics is a huge question mark and one that should be answered for better or worse when we see him for a full year in 2014.

Drew VerHagen - A big 6'6" righty, VerHagen has a nice fastball and not much else to compliment it. Bullpen concerns are legitimate, but not final. Threw well in 2013, but poor strikeout totals limit the upside from a fantasy perspective.

For more on the Tigers, be sure to check out SBNation's Bless You Boys. For more on the minor leagues and prospects in general, check out SBNation's Minor League Ball.

About the Authors

Jason Hunt is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in the minor leagues and prospects.
Follow him on Twitter

Andrew Ball is a contributing writer for Beyond the Box Score and Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Brian Creagh is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Matt Mattingly is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Sources

Baseball America
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference
Fangraphs
MLB Farm
Bless You Boys
Vimeo
Youtube

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