TigsTown 2012 Top 50: 50-41

The time has come to debut the top 50 prospects in the Tigers' organization. Counting down from 50, TigsTown will release ten ranked prospects, followed up with their prospect profiles, going all the way down to the top ten Tigers' prospects!

50. Kevin Eichhorn – Right-handed Pitcher
Eichhorn has an advanced feel and intelligence for his craft but still remains somewhat short on raw stuff. He has a full complement of fringe-average pitches that he mixes very well though he is still lacking the ability to put hitters away with any of them. He has back of the rotation ceiling and could easily find a big league role at some point.

49. James Robbins – First Baseman
Power is the calling card for Robbins and his raw power potential ranks among the best in the Tigers minor league system. He can drive balls to all fields with truly impressive pull power. For what he has in power, Robbins lacks in feel for hitting. There remains plenty of swing and miss in his game, something he will have to refine to reach his full potential.

48. Endrys Briceno – Right-handed Pitcher
Briceno is one of the raw arm strength pitchers the Tigers have begun to cultivate in the Latin American markets. He can touch the mid-90s on his best days and shows good feel for a breaking ball at times. Many scouts project him as a late inning reliever rather than in the starting role he currently occupies.

47. Javier Azcona - Infielder
Azcona is among the most projectable young players in the Tigers system. He has an excellent frame and could still have a growth spurt left in him. Though all parts of his game are raw he has projection in all phases and could be a dynamic player if it all comes together.

46. Wade Gaynor – Third Baseman
The Tigers third round pick a couple of years ago, Gaynor has put together one very nice season at West Michigan and struggled through another at Lakeland. He is a tremendous athlete that can run and hit for power, and while his defense is unorthodox, he routinely gets the job done. He profiles as a potential utility player.

45. Brian Flynn – Left-handed Pitcher
Flynn is a monstrous man that comes at hitters with plus to plus-plus velocity from the left side. His command is very erratic but when he is on his game he can burn through opposing lineups and could profile in the back of a rotation or the back of a bullpen.

44. Luis Marte – Right-handed Pitcher
Marte made his Major League debut in 2011 after dominating Double-A hitters with an average to solid-average fastball and the best breaking ball in the system. Though he lacks ceiling, Marte could easily slot into the middle innings out of the bullpen.

43. Brandon Douglas – Second Baseman
The beginning of the 2011 season was not kind to Douglas who got off to a brutal start before returning to his solid hitting ways in the second half. He has good contact ability and a sound approach, though he lacks the ability to drive the ball with any authority. He has to hit .300 or better to maintain his value and his big league window is limited.

42. Justin Henry – Infielder/Outfielder
Henry was all but off the prospect radar heading into the season but his versatility, speed, and solid hitting ability have put him squarely back on the radar as a potential utility type. He can play all over the infield including shortstop in a pinch and he can manage the outfield as well. His approach at the plate is very good, allowing him to hold his own offensively.

41. Jose Ortega – Right-handed Pitcher
Put on the Tigers 40-man roster prior to the 2011 season, Ortega was seen as a potential relief option for the club last season. That never materialized as he battled injury early in the year and never seemed to dominate the way his mid-90s heat suggests he should. He still has seventh inning potential if he can improve his strike-throwing ability.

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