January 19, 2007


Detroit Tigers Top Ten Prospects (Kevin Goldstein, 1/19/07, Baseball America)

1. Cameron Maybin, cf

DOB: 4/4/87
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted: 1st round, 2005, North Carolina HS
What he did in 2006: .304/.387/.457 at Low A (445 PA)

The Good: On sheer athleticism and tools, Maybin is the total package, with a brutal home park hurting his nonetheless impressive numbers, as evidenced by road line of .333/.416/.517. Excellent hand-eye coordination and big time raw power that should begin to show up more in games as he improves his pitch recognition. Plus-plus runner who almost effortlessly covers the outfield from gap to gap and has a strong arm.

The Bad: Maybin has trouble with breaking balls, and is prone to chasing pitches, which led to a lofty strikeout total. He needs to improve the accuracy of his throws.

The Irrelevant: In 11 at-bats with the bases loaded, Maybin had three singles, a double, two grand slams and 16 RBI.

In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A healthy Eric Davis.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High. Maybin will likely start the year in the Florida State League, which means the power surge might have to wait another year.

2. Andrew Miller, lhp

DOB: 5/21/85
Height/Weight: 6-6/195
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted: 1st round, 2006, University of North Carolina
What he did in 2006: 0.00 ERA at High A (5-2-1-9); 6.10 ERA at MLB (10.1-8-10-6)

The Good: Considered by many to be the best talent in the 2006 draft. 92-96 mph fastball has touched 98, while height and angular delivery add downward plane and strong deception. Hard slider features depth and tilt, with late, quick break out of the zone.

The Bad: While Miller's stuff is there in every outing, his control is not, and he clearly had problems finding his rhythm while coming out of the bullpen during his big league debut. His changeup needs work.

The Irrelevant: A third-round pick by the Devil Rays in 2003, Miller was the highest unsigned pick from that year's draft.

In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An All-Star lefthander.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average. Miller will likely be on the Justin Verlander plan, beginning the year in the Florida State League and quickly moving up to Double-A once things warm up in the Eastern League cities.

3. Gorkys Hernandez, cf

DOB: 9/7/87
Height/Weight: 6-0/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Signed: Venezuela, 2005
What he did in 2006: .327/.356/.463 at Rookie level (217 PA)

The Good: Five-tool Venezuelan teenager had impressive stateside debut, showing the holy trinity of bat speed, raw power and the ability to make consistent contact. Plus runner who should develop into an above-average center fielder.

The Bad: Despite his production, Hernandez is still raw in many phases of the game. His swing-at-everything approach will hurt him against more advanced pitching. He needs to improve his jumps and routes in the outfield.

The Irrelevant: In 59 GCL at-bats against lefthanders, Hernandez was the anti-Three True Outcomes hero with one home run, one walk, and three strikeouts.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: Hernandez has star potential, but it's too early to say in what role.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Very High. Hernandez will make his full season debut at Low-A West Michigan, not the easiest place to have a breakthrough season.

No wonder they call it the Renaissance Center....

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2007 12:57 PM

Boy, seeing a 1987 date of birth makes me feel really old. I have a pair of Florsheim Imperial Wingtips which I bought brand new that older than those guys.

Posted by: pchuck at January 19, 2007 2:43 PM

Detroit is the "Ranaissance City" OJ. GM and the Marriott Hotel occupy the Renaissance Center (Ren. Cen.)

Posted by: Dave W at January 19, 2007 3:48 PM

Make that Renaissance City.

Posted by: Dave W at January 19, 2007 3:49 PM

No one in either Hughes' or Tabata's league.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 19, 2007 6:15 PM

Maybin is better than Tabata and Hughes's ceiling is Bonderman/Miller/Verlander/Zumaya

Posted by: oj at January 19, 2007 6:22 PM

Verlander is the only one on that list who's even close to St. Philip.

The only thing Maybin has over Tabata -- whom he's a year older than and yet no more advanced in level -- is that he's a cf, and therefore playing at a more difficult position to field.

Los Tigres better hope that all these prospects turn into someting, b/c they'll be mired in 3rd place this season behind Cleveland and Chicago. Mmeanwhile Hugh Sanchez will be helping the Yanks down the stretch this season.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 20, 2007 1:13 AM

Yes, Sanchez is likely to be their closer by September.

Posted by: oj at January 20, 2007 7:55 AM

The best thing about Tabata is that his list of comparables features that other great Yankee flop Jackson Melian.

Posted by: oj at January 20, 2007 8:18 AM