30. Bryan Holaday (C)
Holaday received a very brief six-game cameo with the Tigers in 2012, filling in when the Tigers primary catchers were hobbled, and he received a vote of confidence from GM Dave Dombrowski at the outset of the offseason. A strong defensive catcher and exceptional leader, Holaday has all the ingredients to be a top notch backup catcher at the Major League level. His offensive game lags significantly behind and he likely will never be able to support a full time job, but he should be able to give Alex Avila a rest once a week throughout the 2013 season.
29. Brandon Loy (SS)
In classic Tigers fashion, the glove-first Loy was a high pick in hopes that they could coax a little extra offense out of him. Loy played a bunch of second base in 2012 but he has more than enough chops to handle the left side of the infield. The time at another position should help him develop excellent versatility with the glove. Loy can handle the bat and play situational baseball but he lacks the true hitting ability or strength to make an impact in the batter's box. His profile sits squarely in the utility range, but he could move quickly to fill that role in Detroit.
28. Alex Burgos (LHP)
The Tigers delayed Burgos' 2011 debut to allow him to gain additional strength and add velocity. That worked, allowing his fastball to scrape the average level, but that increase in strength has at least temporarily compromised his ability to control his arsenal. Burgos still shows a promising three-pitch mix, including a curveball that earns solid reviews, but he has to throw more strikes to allow the depth of his arsenal to have an impact as he moves through the minor leagues. Burgos has the potential to develop into a number four starter if he begins to locate the ball again.
27. Dixon Machado (SS)
If you have the pleasure of watching Dixon Machado play defense, make sure you don't miss that opportunity. He has an outstanding glove, including exceptional range, elite hands and overall abilities that have earned plus-plus grades from scouts. His arm is even better, standing in the 70-80 range on the 20-80 scouting scale, and nearly earning giggles from scouts. For all of his defensive gifts, Machado lack offensive potential. While he understands the strike zone and works at bats, he lacks the strength to impact the ball and doesn't project to hit much, if at all. He has first division potential with even modest offensive production, but that projection comes with considerable risk.
26. Logan Ehlers (LHP)
Ehlers could have ranked higher on this list, but late season arm fatigue slowed his momentum and as he has yet to show his stuff in full-season ball, some skepticism remains. A lefty with premium stuff and excellent feel for his craft, he is a prospect that should have gone much higher in the 2012 draft. If everything comes back well after surgery, Ehlers could feature a plus fastball and two or three average secondary pitch, making him a dangerous pitcher with mid-rotation ceiling. Tiger fans may need to wait until 2014 to truly understand what they have in Ehlers, but he could be worth the wait.
25. Luke Putkonen (RHP)
Putkonen exploded onto the scene during spring training last year, pumping fastballs as high as 96-97 mph and a slider that was better than he had shown in nearly two years. His explosive arsenal came with a move to the bullpen where his efforted delivery worked a little better and he didn't have to worry about saving his stuff for the later innings. Putkonen has seventh or eighth inning potential and he should see additional time in Detroit next year.
24. Dean Green (1B)
Dubbing Green a first baseman is generous, but that's not why he's ranked this high. Green's entire profile as a prospect centers on his ability to hit, and hit for power. Green is a very natural hitter with the potential to reach the .300 range during his peak seasons. He has a good approach at the plate that leads to both walks and hitter's counts. When he gets pitches in the strike zone, he can drive them to all parts of the park with at least plus power. Green is a bat-only prospect and he will have to mash every step of the way, but his natural offensive abilities give him a chance as a prospect.
23. Brenny Paulino (RHP)
Paulino was one of the Tigers' fastest rising prospect entering the 2012 season, before pre-season arm soreness and eventual shoulder surgery sidelined him for the entire season, with uncertainty still remaining on the severity of the injury. Despite his skinny frame, Paulino has plus to plus-plus velocity and some scouts think there is more in the tank. Heading into the year he remained far more thrower than pitcher and his secondary pitches lagged behind his heater. Paulino still has tremendous potential, but his already high risk level has been elevated because of his injury. He should be watched closely in 2013 as he tries to re-establish himself as a big time prospect.
22. Joe Rogers (LHP)
The Tigers fifth round pick in June, on the surface, Rogers appears to be a classic polished college pitcher. After you keep digging and watch him pitch for a while, it becomes clear that he still has some development remaining and some potential to unlock. Rogers has experience as a reliever and could rocket through the Tigers' system in that role, but there is some merit to having him start and see how he develops in that role. Rogers will head to full-season ball in 2013 and both his performance and role could determine his timeline from there.
21. Curt Casali (C)
Casali is the best defensive catcher in the Tigers' system, offering excellent receiving ability, good leadership and at least above-average catch-and-throw skills. In addition to his top defensive billing, Casali has some offensive potential as well. He knows the strike zone and has a solid feel for the barrel, allowing his fringe-average power to play in games. Of the current Tigers' catching prospects, Casali offers the best all-around potential and at least a chance to be an everyday guy.