TigsTown 2011 Midseason Top 50: 40-31

Ten players down, but forty more to go! See which prospects fell between 31 and 40 in the top 50.

40. Audy Ciriaco – Shortstop
Ciriaco remains just 24-years old, despite having logged seven professional season, including parts of the last two years at Double-A. That said, his tools have never translated to the field and his prospect stock is slipping. While the bat has never stepped forward like originally projected, Ciriaco's defense at shortstop has been superb this year, and he still has an outside shot at a big league opportunity, though maybe not with the Tigers.

39. James Robbins – First Baseman
The Tigers went into the six figures for a bonus to buy this left-handed slugger out of a commitment to Washington State in 2009. That investment seems to be starting to pay off some with 17 doubles and 10 home runs in the tough hitting environment of the Midwest League so far. Robbins' approach still needs plenty of work, but the power is certainly real.

38. Brandon Douglas – Second Baseman
Douglas takes a precipitous fall from the Top 20 in our off-season rankings, as his hitting just hasn't been sustained at previous levels. Given his limited defensive abilities and lack of power, Douglas has to hit and hit a lot to be considered a viable prospect. He has a knack for contact and he just has to keep getting hits to fall in order to stay on the radar.

37. Wilsen Palacios – Right-handed Pitcher
Early in the spring, Palacios was considered a strong candidate for the West Michigan rotation, but visa issues kept him in the Dominican Republic well into extended spring training, and he was forced to debut back in the NYPL this summer. The hard-throwing right-hander likely has a future as a reliever but the Tigers will give him a chance to move as a starter.

36. Steven Moya - Outfielder
The Tigers shocked everyone by promoting Moya to West Michigan earlier this year, as despite massive steps forward, he still remains incredibly raw. The massive six-foot-six 19-year old has some of the most monstrous power in the organization, but he lacks the hitting ability for it to play consistently. After a quick start with the ‘Caps, Moya is hitting below .200 at this point though he has slugged seven home runs in just 45 games. Youth and raw physicality is on his side, but it may take a while for Moya to develop.

35. Hernan Perez – Shortstop
Perez has slid over to second base in deference to the slick fielding Dixon Machado this season, but that is no slight against his glove. Perez is an easy plus defender with good actions, soft hands, and a plus to plus-plus arm. He has natural strength and has an ability to drive balls, giving him some projection with the bat as well.

34. Ramon Lebron – Right-handed Pitcher
After working as a starter for several years, Lebron made what many felt was the inevitable move to the bullpen this year, and he has excelled from Opening Day. His 80-grade fastball velocity has played up even more in relief, and scouts have reported him hitting 100 mph on several occasions. He still lacks the control to work in high leverage situations, but you can't ignore the powerful right arm.

33. Matt Hoffman – Left-handed Pitcher
Hoffman drew rave reviews in the Arizona Fall League last year when his velocity spiked to the mid-90s. That velocity has stepped back slightly, as Hoffman has been working mostly in the lower 90s this summer as he tries to harness his stuff. He has the potential to develop into the type of pitcher many envisioned Daniel Schlereth becoming, as a hard-throwing lefty that fills in the later innings of ball games.

32. Wade Gaynor – Third Baseman
A third round pick in 2009, Gaynor put up some very nice numbers in the Midwest League last year, but the scouting reports were many and varied following the season. An exceptional athlete, Gaynor's entire game is a bit unorthodox, and many scouts believe he will have to learn other positions to have a future at the big league level. He has some power and he runs better than you'd think for a guy his size, but no part of his game screams everyday player, but rather he looks more and more like a potential corner utility guy or bench bat.

31. Jay Voss – Left-handed Pitcher
The Tigers acquired Voss in exchange for left-hander Nate Robertson and thought they were getting a solid relief prospect with average to solid-average velocity and a solid breaking ball. The 2010 season was a nightmare for Voss as his command and velocity disappeared. That story is valid no more as Voss has bumped his fastball back into the 89-90 range consistently and will touch higher in short spurts. He has succeeded as a starter this year and put himself squarely in the mix for a possible big league trial in 2012.


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