Results tagged ‘ Detroit Tigers ’

Tigers camp extras

The Tigers package is up. Go take a look:

Here’s some more stuff from VP David Chadd, mostly on how the Tigers’ system isn’t perceived as being very strong externally.

Chadd: If you don’t dig down to the lower levels and you’re just skimming the upper levels at Double-A and triple-A, you’ll miss guys. If you’re just doing that, to some people, it might look like we don’t have a lot. But we think we do.

You can always improve, there’s no doubt about that. As a scout, and a scouting staff, you always have to self-evaluate, what you’ve done and players you’ve been able to promote to the Major League level. It’s not just scouting, that includes player development as well because it’s hand-in-hand. Saying that, you can never have enough talent in your system and we’re constantly trying to improve that, but I think some bright spots over there are Drew VerHagen; he’s throwing very well so far in camp. Tyler Collins has done well, Devon Travis, he’s been on a tear since he’s been over there. Daniel Fields has looked good. We’re pretty pleased with where we’re at. Are we satisfied? No. Will we ever be? No. But we’re pretty pleased with what we’ve seen so far in camp.

And here are some extras from my conversation with Devon Travis, starting with a follow up to the question that’s on the ST report about him watching all of the veterans on the Tigers when he was growing up:

You have to be careful with the veterans when you say you grew up watching them. You don’t want to make them feel old.

Travis: You’re probably right. If they heard me say that, they’d probably not be too happy.

Going into the year, there probably weren’t expectations, but looking back now,  you’ve raised the bar a little bit. You’re no longer off the radar. People are going to be watching to see what you do. The expectations have definitely gone  up.

Travis: I think that’s something I appreciate. It will make me work harder. I feel a lot of guys get to that point and they kind of shut it down and say, ‘I’ve done this or I’ve done that.’ For me, it’s just more reason to work. It gives people more reason to bash you. If you’re in an 0-for-20 slump, now it’s ‘Oh, what happened? Last year was a freak year.’ I know how all that goes and  I try to stay away from it. At the same time, it comes along with it.

One of the reasons the Tigers were interested in you was that Tigers scout Bruce Tanner saw you play against the Phillies in a Spring Training game when you were at Florida State. People on the outside may look at those games against college teams as a waste of time, but for you, it made a huge difference, didn’t it?

Travis: For us, as college guys, it’s an opportunity to go out and have fun, but at the same time, test yourself and see what it’s like to play at that level. I take every game seriously, whether it’s a scrimmage or the final game of the season. I’m thankful for that. I don’t think I even got any hits in that game, but the opportunity to play in any of those games is something every kid should take advantage of.

And my One More Guy:

I think I’ll give the nod to Austin Schotts, No. 24 on Jim’s 21-25 list. He had a terrible 2013, but it’s hard to look past his athleticism. I dig Jim’s Shane Victorino upside comp.

Who’s Next: The LHP list

Tuesday, it was time to launch our rankings of the Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects in the game. And, as promised, I wanted to post the next group of lefties to keep an eye on, as we continue to move toward the “big reveal” of the Top 100 list on Jan. 29.

So, without further ado, here are lefties No. 11-15:

Sean Gilmartin, Braves — Advanced college lefty made it to Triple-A in his first full season of pro ball.

Casey Crosby, Tigers — He’s had two healthy seasons in a row. Now it’s time for him to produce. Could have future as a reliever.

John Lamb, Royals — Before Tommy John surgery, he was one of the better southpaws in the Minors. All signs point to him reclaiming that status in 2013.

Robbie Erlin, Padres — The undersized lefty the Padres got in the Mike Adams trade missed time with elbow tendinitis, but continues to get people out with command and competitiveness.

Daniel Norris, Blue Jays — He had a rough pro debut, but the 2011 second-rounder has plenty of time to fulfill his enormous potential.

AFL Star of the Day, Vol. 3 — A pitcher!

Sure, there were some good performances at the plate. Gary Brown had three hits, two RBIs and a stolen base, not a bad day’s work for the Giants’ No. 1 prospect. Nick Castellanos, the Tigers’ top prospect, hit a ninth-inning home run to give Mesa its first win. And Washington prospect Brian Goodwin (No. 3) homered to tie the game in the ninth as Salt River went on to beat Brown and Scottsdale, 6-5.

But Thursday’s Star of the Day is a no-brainer, and it comes from the mound.

Kyle Gibson came to the Fall League to continue to make up for lost innings and to regain his form following Tommy John surgery. The Twins’ No. 16 prospect would likely be in the big leagues by now if it hadn’t been for his elbow woes and he threw just 28 1/3 innings in 2012 as he worked his way back. Well, if Thursday is any indication, he’s shaking the rust off quite nicely. Gibson went five shutout innings on Thursday, something that doesn’t typically happen this early in the AFL schedule. He gave up just four hits, walked none and struck out eight. He hadn’t thrown more than four innings in any outing since he returned from TJ surgery.

The Draft order is out! Woo-hoo!

There’s something about the official release of the Draft order that gets the blood pumping, doesn’t it?

OK, maybe that’s overselling, but it always signifies to me that Draft season is really, truly upon us (Draft season really begins the day after the Draft ends in June, but you know what I mean).

Every year, the Draft brings with it a good number of story lines. But this year has the added intrigue of the new system as dictated by the new agreement that was collectively bargained. Just how will the bonus pools will impact how teams do business remains to be seen, with no one really knowing how it’s going to go.

There are the usual interesting tidbits about who is picking where, who has the most picks (Padres, Blue Jays, Cardinals have six in the first two rounds). But what about the teams that don’t have many picks at all. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for example, will have a wait on their hands before they get to make their first selection.

The Tigers, who are likely getting used to not picking until late (), don’t go until pick No. 91, close to the end of the second round. But that might seem early to the Angels, who’s first turn  comes at pick No. 114, in the third round (thank you, Mr. Pujols and Mr. Wilson).

If you think that’s really late, maybe some kind of record, think again. The Angels would come in at No. 4 on the “latest initial pick” list. Here’s the top 16, thanks to the fine folks at the Commissioner’s Office.

1)      San Francisco – 132 in 2005
2)      Tampa Bay – 132 in 1998
3)      Seattle – 116 in 2000
4)     L.A. Angels — 114 in 2012
5)      Houston – 111 in 2007
6)      NY Yankees – 105 in 1988
7)      Arizona – 103 in 1998
8)      Boston – 102 in 1978
9)      St. Louis – 102 in 2002
10)    NY Yankees – 99 in 1980
11)     Baltimore – 99 in 1985
12)    Kansas City – 98 in 1990
13)    NY Yankees – 93 in 1983
14)    Seattle – 93 in 2004
15)    L.A. Dodgers – 91 in 1991
16)   Detroit – 91 in 2012

The Start of an era

Rick Porcello will make his professional debut Thursday night in Tampa
against the Yankees’ affiliate in the Class-A Florida State League. The Tigers’
top pick in last year’s draft and easily one of the most talked about Minor
Leaguers this spring doesn’t seem fazed at all about stepping onto the mound at
George Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field). He might as well be back on
the hill for Seton Hall Prep up in the frigid temperatures of North Jersey based
on what he’s showing.
I got the chance to sit with Porcello for a few minutes yesterday afternoon out
in Lakeland – which by the way is even more of a ghost town now that Spring
Training has ended. When asked if he was nervous, he didn’t flinch.
“I’m more excited than nervous and I’m anxious to get the season started,”
Porcello said.
He admitted to being a tad star struck when he first arrived in the Detroit
clubhouse earlier this spring but that awe quickly disappeared as he began to
realize that Justin Verlander and Co. were now his co-workers and not just the
players he’d been watching on television.
“The first couple of days it was tough to focus,” he said. “You watch those
players for so long but you get used to it after a while. You adjust to it.
Big-league camp was a great experience. I learned a lot from being in the same
clubhouse with those guys. It was tough at the time to come back down.
“The days are long and you’re in the sun all day. But it’s good preparation
for the season and I’m ready to go.” 
Porcello’s dad, Fred, will be in Tampa Thursday night to watch his son’s
professional debut. 
I also got the chance to speak with Cale Iorg, the highly regarded
prospected Detroit grabbed in the sixth-round last season. He’s Garth Iorg’s son
and Dane Iorg’s nephew and his brother Eli is playing in the Astros farm system.
Cale is a bright, friendly kid who will start his first season in pro ball
Thursday night alongside Porcello. I’ll have a feature about him up on the
website next week.
Here, though, is a bit of info from my conversation. I like to ask players
oddball questions so
we don’t spend 20 minutes discussing only baseball. When I
asked Iorg which person from
George Washington 1782 painting.jpg history with whom he’d like to have dinner, his
answer surprised me. I get a lot of stock answers to that question and most
players usually just rattle off the names of former ballplayers but he said
George Washington.
“I’m a big fan of George Washington’s,” Iorg said. “He was an amazing man
to lead a new country into it’s biggest battles. Just the way he lived and
worked. All he wanted to do was help out. He didn’t want to lead. He just wanted
to serve.” 
Interesting, huh? Anyway, Iorg’s dad won’t be on hand for his pro debut
because he’s a roving instructor with the Brewers. But, he’ll be in Brevard
County in two weeks working with Milwaukee prospects and he’ll get to see his
son then. — Kevin C.
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