20. Joe Rogers – Left-handed Pitcher
Rogers was the Tigers fifth round pick in June and while he is on a strict innings limit this summer, that shouldn't let fans overlook him as a solid prospect. Rogers works consistently in the 89-92 range and can touch 94-95 mph when he really needs it. He has outstanding feel for his craft and could be a quality number four starter if everything comes together.
19. Hernan Perez – Infielder
Perez is a quality defender with the chops to handle shortstop and he is a plus defender at second base. He has some quickness on the bases and some juice in his bat, giving him an intriguing offensive profile. It will all boil down to how much he hits and most scouts believe Perez profiles best as a utility infielder.
18. Daniel Fields – Outfielder
The Tigers paid Fields seven figures to sign out of high school, keeping him away from the University of Michigan. After being thrust into High-A ball as a 19-year old and holding his own, Fields has stagnated in the Florida State League. He still has intriguing tools, most notably quality defense, a solid approach and plus raw power, but he is still a significant long shot.
17. Brenny Paulino – Right-handed Pitcher
There was a lot of excitement surrounding Paulino entering the 2012 season. Coming off a very nice showing in the GCL in 2011, Paulino was lauded for having potential premium velocity and a high upside. After minor shoulder surgery earlier this summer, Paulino's development is on hold and his prospect stock is in limbo until he proves he is healthy again.
16. Drew VerHagen – Right-handed Pitcher
The Tigers went back to Vanderbilt for several prospects again in this year's draft, picking up three more Commodores after popping two in last year's draft. VerHagen has the potential to pitch in the 93-95 range as a starter and could be a power-armed third starter if everything clicked. Many area scouts see him as a future reliever where his power arsenal could play up even more.
15. Andrew Oliver – Left-handed Pitcher
Speaking of future power relievers, Oliver has struggled mightily with his command and control in 2012. With inconsistent mechanics, Oliver has never commanded the ball well, but things have seemingly gone backward this year. He can still dial it up to 96 mph when he wants to and it might be time for the club to experiment with Oliver in the bullpen.
14. Edgar De La Rosa – Right-handed Pitcher
De La Rosa is a big riser on this list thanks to some enormous steps forward. Members of the organization joked this summer that this is exactly what they envisioned when they signed him as a raw teenager. At 6-foot-6, De La Rosa has exceptional size and tons of strength, and his raw stuff has finally caught up with his body. Sitting at 93-94 with great angle, De La Rosa is touching 98 mph while also showing an above-average change-up and promising slider.
13. Austin Schotts – Outfielder
A third round pick last month, Schotts has had an explosive professional debut in the Gulf Coast League. Considered a polished hitter coming out of high school, Schotts has put on a show so far, hitting for average and showing surprising pop. With the speed to handle center field and the potential to hit at the top of the lineup, Schotts could be a dynamic prospect down the line.
12. Eugenio Suarez – Infielder
One of the biggest breakout players in the Tigers system this year, Suarez has torn through the Midwest League with impressive numbers across the board. A slick-fielding shortstop, Suarez has the versatility to handle any position defensively, including center field. He is a good runner and has solid natural hitting ability. Though slight, he can drive the ball to the gaps and profiles as a potential Omar Infante type player.
11. James McCann – Catcher
The Tigers top pick in 2011, McCann started his first full professional season with High-A Lakeland and was promoted to Double-A around mid season. McCann is not the type of player that will impress you right away but he does a lot of things well and grows on you over the course of multiple games. He is a quality glove with a strong arm and pop in his bat, giving him a chance to play behind the plate in the big leagues.
In the heart of the top 30 now, find out which prospects landed just outside the top ten in the 2012 Midseason Rankings!
In the heart of the top 30 now, find out which prospects landed just outside the top ten!