30. Alfredo Figaro – Right-handed Pitcher
No longer with the organization after having his rights sold to a Japanese team, Figaro would have entered the 2011 season as a long shot for the rotation and a solid candidate to fill a swingman or long relief role in the bullpen. He still has velocity that’s a tick above-average and fringe-average secondary stuff.
29. Charlie Furbush – Left-handed Pitcher
Furbush was one of the Tigers biggest surprises in 2010, buzzing through both Lakeland and Erie before slowing down once arriving in Toledo. He has the ceiling of a fourth or fifth starter with a good fall back chance of becoming a nice relief piece. There’s some deception to his delivery and he has an average fastball with a projectable curveball.
28. John Murrian – Catcher
After missing time due to injury, Murrian came back and hit well while getting to Erie late in the 2010 season. He’s an above-average defender with some ability at the plate, though his ultimate ceiling maxes out as a second division starter or backup catcher on a good club. He’s a good bet to reach that ceiling, and his leadership attributes could stand out in the right situation.
27. Corey Jones – Second Baseman
Jones is a pure hitter that can make easy contact on any pitch thanks to exceptional plate coverage. When he stays back on the ball, he can drive it into the gaps. He’s not a burner on the bases and he doesn’t have fantastic range. His hitting and on-base ability are his meal ticket and his polished approach could push him through the system quickly.
26. Dixon Machado – Shortstop
Machado is the classic Venezuelan shortstop with an outstanding glove and questionable bat. Machado shows plus defensive abilities now with a strong arm and a chance to be an elite-level defender. He can make contact and control the zone, but he lacks strength at the plate and there are big questions about his offensive profile.
25. Brayan Villarreal – Right-handed Pitcher
If any of the scouts I spoke with this year felt Villarreal had any chance to start long term, then he would have ranked much higher on this list. As a reliever – most likely in the 7th inning or so – Villarreal can offer a 93-94 mph fastball and a solid breaking ball. He will continue to start in the short term, but could help in the big leagues quickly if converted to relief.
24. Javier Azcona – Infielder
While his defensive home may still be up in the air, scouts like some of the projection they see in his body and his bat. He could very well grow out of the shortstop position, but he’s athletic enough to handle second or third. His bat has the potential for average and power, but his approach remains raw.
23. Audy Ciriaco – Third Baseman
He has been on the radar forever, but Ciriaco is still a guy with enough tools to intrigue most scouts. His speed has come off a bit, but he’s still an above-average runner with decent range. If he doesn’t start hitting at a high level, his best bet for a big league job may be as a utility option capable of handling short, third, and the outfield.
22. Bryan Holaday – Catcher
Holaday made a name for himself during the College World Series last year with an inspired performance for TCU. It’s not all hype though, as Holaday is a plus defender with outstanding leadership abilities. There are major questions about his bat, and most scouts see him as a very good backup catcher.
21. Zach Simons – Right-handed Pitcher
A power fastball-slider combo has allowed Simons to experience success at the upper levels of the minor league system, and he has the stuff to pitch in a Major League pen. Once a member of the 40-man roster, Simons is caught in a tough spot trying to get back on the roster and get a big league opportunity.
For the 50-31, rankings, click the links below:
2011 TigsTown Top 50: 50-41
2011 TigsTown Top 50: 40-31