20. Brandon Loy – Shortstop
The Tigers have an affinity for shortstops with slick gloves and that trend continues with the addition of Loy from the 2011 draft. A Texas product, Loy can pick it with the best of them up the middle and has everything necessary to remain at shortstop. His bat remains a significant question as while he can handle the bat reasonably well he struggles to make consistent hard contact and doesn’t project to hit much at all.
19. Bruce Rondon – Right-handed Pitcher
Rondon is an enormous human being that has the power to match his imposing size. In his full-season debut in 2011 he sat consistently in the 95-97 mph range and touched 99 plenty. He still unleashes a mid-90s sidearm fastball on occasion but nearly as regularly as before. There isn’t much in the way of control in Rondon’s game and his breaking ball remains unrefined. Though he has a chance to close games there is a lot of development remaining for him to fulfill that profile.
18. Gustavo Nunez – Shortstop
Since the rankings have been finalized, Nunez was plucked away by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Rule 5 draft. He actually has a chance to stick on the 25-man roster as a speedy defensive specialist. He can run with the best of them in the minor leagues and his glove is one of the best I have ever scouted on the infield. Nunez has very little offensive upside outside of his speed but he could be a nice bench option in the NL given his other skills.
17. Tyler Stohr – Right-handed Pitcher
Stohr returned from Tommy-John surgery with a vengeance in 2011. While his command and control was still rounding back into form throughout the year, Stohr was pumping 93-95 mph heat with ease and his breaking ball started to find its pre-injury bite. Scouts have seen better than 95 mph out of him in the past and there’s a chance he finds another tick in 2012. His profile stops short of the closer role but he has a chance to be a really nice setup reliever.
16. Daniel Fields – Outfielder
The Tigers paid a pretty penny to pry Fields away from a Michigan commitment coming out of high school and after two tough years in the Florida State League scouts are wondering what happened to the potential he showed prior to the draft. Fields still shows solid command of the strike zone but many of his other attributes have regressed to the point that 2012 borders on being a make or break season at a very young age for Fields.
15. Alex Burgos – Left-handed Pitcher
The Tigers loved Burgos coming out of the 2010 draft and after working with him to build strength and endurance during extended spring training, he took it to the inexperienced hitters of the Midwest League last summer. Despite fringy velocity and less than ideal size, Burgos has the ability to move the ball around and a curveball that some scouts believe could be a very nice swing and miss pitch. He has back of the rotation potential and the polish to push to Double-A by year end.
14. Jason King – Third Baseman
A shoulder injury kept King off the national radar leading up to the 2011 draft and a knee injury last summer is now keeping him from being higher on the prospect radar. When healthy, King offers a solid blend of skills and an extreme work ethic that lets him get the most out of his tools. He could be a solid regular at third base, giving the team some power, patience and speed at the hot corner.
13. Josue Carreno – Right-handed Pitcher
Carreno is a personal favorite of mine and I have had the pleasure of scouting him extensively the last 18 months. His body has transformed since coming stateside and he now features a thick, barrel chested body that screams durability and added velocity down the line. Prior to adding bulk his command was his best trait and scouts believe it will come back as he continues developing. Though he’s far from a finished product, Carreno could be a workhorse number three or four starter down the line.
12. Tyler Gibson – Outfielder
As the August signing deadline for draft picks approached the Tigers put the full court press to Gibson finally inking him and pulling him away from a commitment to Georgia Tech. A premium athlete, scouts are mixed on whether Gibson will maintain his current speed and power profile or whether he will become more of a power right fielder down the line. He is raw and will require patience but the Tigers have certainly netted a kid with undeniable upside.
11. Avisail Garcia – Outfielder
Folks within the Tigers organization remain convinced in Garcia’s long term potential. He is an uncommon blend of raw skills and championship caliber effort and baseball intelligence. Garcia is an impressive athlete with size, running ability and power. He is the best defensive outfielder in the system and in the end he could have a classic right field profile with defense and power production. Garcia’s approach continues to stand in the way of his raw tools showing in game situations but if everything clicks, the Tigers could have a monster on their hands.