For additional information on the scouting process and evaluation of each tool, you can refer to the recent Scouting Series on the TigsTown Premium Message Board.
Best Hitter: Brandon Douglas (2B) – Douglas has done nothing but hit for average since signing out of Northern Iowa in 2008. He makes easy contact on all types of pitches and uses the entire field with ease. With little more development, some scouts view Douglas as the type of player that could be a plus hitter in the big leagues, posting a .290 average or better.
Best Power: Ryan Strieby (1B) – Wrist injuries have hampered his ability to truly drive the ball the last couple of years, but Strieby still has the best in-game power among prospects in the system. He can drive balls out of the park from line to line, and the slight lift at the end of his swing gives him good back spin and loft on the ball.
Best Speed: Kyle Peter (OF) – Peter was sidelined much of the last two seasons with a severe shoulder injury, but that hasn’t hindered his ability to burn around the bases. He is a true 80-grade runner with blazing speed in all facets of the game.
Best Outfield Defender: Avisail Garcia (OF) – There are still times when Garcia gets caught being indecisive on balls in the outfield, but scouts I spoke with were unanimous in calling him the best defender in the system. He has above-average range in right field and enough wheels to man center in a pinch. He gets good jumps, takes good routes, and rarely ever makes the same mistake twice.
Best Outfield Arm: Casper Wells (OF) – Wells has been at or near the top of this list for several years now, and it should be no surprise he sits atop the ranking again. He has an absolute rocket arm, truly befitting a right fielder. His throws have excellent carry and good accuracy, helping his raw arm strength play up even more.
Best Infield Defender: Cale Iorg (SS) – An elite level defensive shortstop, Iorg elicits rave reviews from coaches and scouts for his glove. He has tons of range to both sides, exceptional hands, and great footwork and balance. He makes everything look easy in the field, and could be a Gold Glove level defender.
Best Infield Arm: Cale Iorg (SS) – Combined with Iorg’s other outstanding defensive attributes, his arm rates as the best of the infielders in the system. He can unload from a set position with a seed across the diamond to first, or he can make accurate, rifled throws from nearly any angle and while on the move.
Best Defensive Catcher: Julio Rodriguez (C) – His defensive ability defies his age, and scouts gush over his ability to receive the ball and his throwing skills. He handles velocity very well, and has rapidly picked up the ability to handle more advanced breaking balls. He can post sub-1.90 pop times with some regularity, and his throws have good accuracy.
Best Fastball: Jose Ortega (RHP) – Ortega blew onto the scene this year, getting all the way up to Double-A Erie on the back of his plus-plus heater. He can reach 97 mph at times, and regularly sits in the 94-95 range with explosive life.
Best Curveball: Jacob Turner (RHP) – Turner has a classic 12-6 breaker that has the potential to be a 60 or 65-grade pitch when he finishes polishing it up. He throws it for strikes now and routinely stays on top of it to maximize the effectiveness of the pitch. He will need to begin throwing it as a chase pitch at times. His curveball could be a true swing-and-miss pitch that elevates his game.
Best Slider: Chance Ruffin (RHP) – One of the newest editions to the Tigers system, Ruffin enters with an impressive slider that has plus potential. He still gets under it a bit too much at times, but when he stays on top of it, the pitch shows devastating two-plane break that easily misses bats.
Best Change-up: Adam Wilk (LHP) – Change-ups generally aren’t something the current crop of Tiger pitching prospect excel at throwing, but Wilk offers a solid-average change that has some arm-side fade to it. He can throw the pitch for strikes in the bottom of the zone and it helps him against right-handers.
Best Command: Adam Wilk (LHP) – Wilk is a strike-throwing machine that works to both sides of the plate with ease, and also changes the hitter’s eye level at will. He moves the ball throughout the zone, rarely missing his spots, and could have true plus command at the big league level.
Best Athlete: Cale Iorg (SS) – The most gifted raw athlete in the system, Iorg displays everything you could ever want in an athlete. He offers speed, balance, strength, and more. His superb athleticism is part of the reason scouts refuse to give up on his bat, believing that type of athlete will eventually figure it out.