TigsTown Roundtable: MiLB Breakout Year

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Which minor leaguer do you expect to have a breakout season in 2011?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
There are a number of intriguing candidates that are poised for a breakout season in 2011 and could post outstanding results, from a resurgence from Casey Crosby to Daniel Fields taking the next step in his development after a solid 2010. However, one player that has an exceptional amount of raw talent that could very well turn that into production in 2011 is Avisail Garcia. The big outfielder, unfairly nicknamed Baby Miggy due to his size and resemblance to Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera, has an incredible amount of athletic ability and the raw power potential. Moving away from the pitcher friendly Midwest League coupled with another year under his belt and a taste of big league camp could well be what Garcia needs to take the next step and really shine on the diamond in 2011.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Ignoring the most obvious of candidates like Jacob Turner announcing himself as one of the supreme pitching prospects in baseball, and Nick Castellanos showing why he got that big bonus last August, there are still some nice players poised for big breakouts. I will even stay away from Casey Crosby and his anticipated return to health, and potentially dominance. My first reaction is to lean toward a player like Francisco Martinez who seems to be getting increasingly more comfortable and continuing to utilize his outstanding raw tools. However, he's likely headed to a higher level this year where a true breakout may be masked. On the contrary, outfielder Daniel Fields is likely headed back to Lakeland where he held his own as a teenager in 2010, and where he it may be reasonable to expect some sizable gains in 2011. Fields has at least plus raw power, plus speed, and an advanced approach to hitting for his age. All indications from Daniel himself, from within the organization, and from scouts outside the organization, are that Fields might just be ready to turn some of those loud tools into serious statistical results. If that's the case, then Lakeland fans could be in for an exciting treat in 2011.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'll go with a rather obvious candidate in Casey Crosby. Although he had a great year in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2009, he pitched in just three games last year due to arm problems. Early indications this spring are that Crosby is healthy, and if he is, he has the chance to blossom into the prospect the Tigers thought he could be when they went over slot to land him in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. Left-handers with his stuff aren't easy to come by, and if he can stay healthy, the Tigers could have a pitcher that could be a big contributor in the future.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!

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