40. Chad Smith (RHP)
Though the Tigers drafted and signed Smith in 2011, he didn't debut until June of this year as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery he underwent while in college. Working as a starter to get innings and build arm strength, Smith showed a low-90s fastball and an improving breaking ball throughout the year. Most scouts see him as a reliever long term and there is a consistent belief that his fastball could run into the mid-90s when fully healthy and in shorter bursts.
39. Kyle Ryan (LHP)
Ryan was a fast riser in the system heading into the 2011 season and he intrigued many scouts throughout that year. Repeating West Michigan in 2012, Ryan was a similar pitcher statistically. He still shows an average fastball and breaking ball at times, both of which still have some projection remaining as he matures. The ceiling isn't huge, but Ryan has the stuff and frame to be an inning-eating back of the rotation type.
38. Montreal Robertson (RHP)
Robertson opened eyes during the Fall Instructional League in 2011, popping off 97 mph fastballs and a slider that occasionally shows good bite and tilt. The Tigers moved him to the Connecticut rotation this year to further develop his arsenal, and while he tired quickly, his fastball still ranged from 92-97 mph and his slider was periodically solid. Though he profiles as a late inning reliever, Robertson could continue to get starter's innings to gain consistency and become more of a pitcher, rather than a thrower.
37. Franklin Navarro (C)
Navarro was the VSL Tigers Player of the Year this last season and the Tigers quickly brought him Stateside for Instructs. A likely candidate to be in the US again next year, Navarro has both offensive and defensive potential that could move him to the full-season level quickly. A switch hitter with natural hitting ability, Navarro has a long road ahead of him, but he remains one of the organizations more exciting catching prospects in some time.
36. Jordan John (LHP)
A sixth round pick in June, John has only one season of college experience under his belt, but still has a quality four-pitch mix and good polish. His fastball barely scrapes 90 mph on a good day, but he has excellent natural life and is difficult to square. He pounds the strike zone with all of his pitches and while he has the arsenal depth to start, he profiles as a reliever long term. John could move very quickly to bridge the gap between lower-level talent in the system and the upper levels.
35. Hudson Randall (RHP)
Much like John, Randall has a below-average fastball but commands his entire arsenal well. Both his curveball and change-up show promise and he can keep hitters off balance. Randall's frame needs some meat and the hope is that additional strength could lead to more velocity down the road. A tenacious competitor, Randall has number five starter potential but must maximize every ounce of ability to reach that projection.
34. David Gonzalez (SS)
The Tigers have consistently developed slick-fielding Latin-Ameircan shortstops and Gonzalez fits that mold. Everything in Gonzalez's game is out of control at this time but he shows the raw tools to contribute in many facets of the game. He is a strong defender with excellent hands and a plus arm. He is more quick than fast and his approach at the plate must be toned down to fit his skill set.
33. James Robbins (1B)
An over-slot draft signing of the Tigers a couple of years ago, Robbins offers some of the most impressive raw power in the system. Robbins power to the pull side is tremendous and all that is holding him back is his approach and ability to make consistent contact. Robbins is not a good first baseman, but does have a strong arm, putting a ton of pressure on the development of his power bat. Robbins should move on to Double-A for his first big test in 2013.
32. Tyler Stohr (RHP)
To make room for power-armed relievers like Bruce Rondon and Melvin Mercedes, Stohr was outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday, but that doesn't change his projection as a sixth or seventh inning reliever. Stohr relies heavily on a two-seam fastball that sits at 91-92 mph and he can reach for 94 with his four-seamer. With added consistency on his slider and improved command, Stohr could still find himself in the big leagues sooner than later.
31. Tyler Gibson (OF)
A premium athlete, the Tigers gave Gibson over $500,000 to sign late in the 2011 draft. Gibson offers tremendous physicality, plus power potential, speed and defensive potential. It's a robust package that is only held back by his extremely raw hit tool and approach. He is still learning offensively and must make significant strides as a baseball player to put his tremendous package of tools to use on the field.
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2013 TigsTown Top 50: 30-21
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2013 TigsTown Top 50: Top Ten
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