2011 TigsTown Top 50: The Top Ten

TigsTown announces its annual top ten prospects in the organization, starting with the organization's top prospect, and one of the top prospects in baseball, Jacob Turner!

10. Danry Vasquez – Outfielder
Vasquez was a priority signing for the Tigers last summer, inking for a reported $1.2 million bonus at the outset of the international signing period. Already in possession of a mature frame and room for increased strength, Vasquez has the potential to hit for average and power, and could be a classic right fielder.

9. Lester Oliveros – Right-handed Pitcher
Probably the best chance of any reliever currently at the upper levels to fill the closer role for the Tigers, Oliveros has an electric fastball-slider combination. He can get into the mid-90s regularly and his slider shows true swing-and-miss potential. If his command improves with more experience, he could be a dominating high leverage reliever.

8. Rob Brantly – Catcher
Brantly offers the best combination of offense and defense at the catcher position in the Tigers' minor league system. He has a good approach at the plate and enough strength to project for fringe-average power. His defense is solid but could use some polishing. He has a chance to be a solid big league starter.

7. Drew Smyly – Left-handed Pitcher
Smyly has flashed better than average velocity at times in the past, and some scouts think that could come more regularly with a more regimented throwing program. He has the makeup and secondary stuff to reach a ceiling as a third starter if he can put everything together.

6. Chance Ruffin – Right-handed Pitcher
The Tigers second supplemental round pick in the 2010 draft, Ruffin has the potential to move very quickly through the system, particularly if he starts at Double-A as many in the organization expect. He has some funk to his delivery, a fastball that can get to 95 on occasion, and arguably the best slider in the organization. Once he establishes himself in the big leagues, he could be a very good setup man.

5. Daniel Fields – Outfielder
Fields is a supreme athlete with advanced baseball skills for a high school player from the north. His father – Bruce Fields – has schooled him well in his approach to hitting, and he shows solid pitch recognition skills already. Fields could have above-average raw power down the line, to go with plus speed and what looks like it could develop into plus defense in the outfield.

4. Francisco Martinez – Third Baseman
A player with a broad skill set, if Martinez can fine tune his game and begin to actualize more of his raw talents, he could be a dynamic player. He offers 65-grade speed on a regular basis, to go along with good contact ability, some power projection, and enough athleticism to stick at the hot corner once he smoothes out his footwork.

3. Andrew Oliver – Left-handed Pitcher
Oliver is nearly big league ready, only lacking the consistency required of a big league starter. His fastball is a plus-plus weapon that is rare among left-handers. He will throw both a slider and change-up but neither is a polished pitch. With improved command, Oliver could fit in the back of a Major League rotation now, and with improved secondary stuff, he could be a very good #3 starter.

2. Nick Castellanos – Third Baseman
The Tigers paid handsomely to bring Castellanos into the fold last year, and most scouts believe he will be worth the price. Castellanos has an advanced bat for his age and projects for both average and power down the line. A former shortstop, Castellanos is transitioning to third base and most scouts think he can stick there over the long haul. If everything comes together, Castellanos could be a cornerstone offensive talent.

1. Jacob Turner – Right-handed Pitcher
No doubt the best prospect in the Tigers system, Turner would rank atop many systems throughout the game. He offers an unusual combination of plus to plus-plus stuff and potential plus command, and he does all that despite not being of age to consume alcohol. The 6-foot-5 right-hander impressed everyone that saw him in big league camp this spring, and with a likely assignment to Double-A, he could be in Detroit at some point this year.

See the below for the rest of the Top 50:
Top 50: 20-11
Top 50: 30-21
Top 50: 40-31
Top 50: 50-41

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