Tigers AFL Crew Includes 4 Top 30 Prospects

The Tigers will send five prospects to the Arizona Fall League this year, including four prospects that are ranked in the TigsTown Top 30. They are second baseman Devon Travis, outfielder Tyler Collins, left handers Will Clinard and Kyle Lobstein, and 2013 first round compensation right hander Corey Knebel.

Among the position players, established guys like Devon Travis and Tyler Collins are the typical players you expect to get selected for more time in the Arizona Fall League.

Collins has flashed impressive power at times this year, but has struggled making contact at times and catching up to better pitching. He's hit 45 extra base hits this season, but hit just .240 with 116 strikeouts.

Travis hit the cover off the ball in West Michigan, prompting a midseason promotion to Lakeland. He's kept up that hot hitting in Lakeland (.330 average, .858 OPS) and now will get a more advanced challenge against top pitchers, providing him the sort of challenge

Lobstein and Clinard are both left handers that are going to get challenged in the AFL to give them more competition against top competition. Moves like this are usually a pre-cursor to test to see if a pitcher will be ready to compete for a big league job the following spring.

Lobstein has a 3.40 ERA in 161 2/3 innings, with nearly a strikeout per inning (7.91 K/9) with a 2.73 K:BB ratio, and could be looked at to challenge for a long relief role, or be looked at as a starter stashed in the minors that would be looked to in a call-up.

Clinard was dominant in Lakeland, but has struggled in Erie, with a 5.57 ERA against Double-A hitting, and will look to evolve his devastating cutter.

Finally, with Corey Knebel, the Tigers are sending a recent draft pick to the AFL for the first time since Andy Oliver in 2009. Knebel has outstanding stuff that he's showed off at West Michigan, and if the Tigers are planning on stretching him out into a starter in 2014, they could use the AFL as a proving ground for such a thing. He's currently thrown 68 innings between Texas and West Michigan, with a 12.2 K/9 ratio for the Whitecaps.

Stay tuned to TigsTown to more on the details of the Tigers AFL selections for this fall.

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