Douglas signed as the Tigers eleventh round pick in 2008 after not signing as a 32nd round pick of the Reds in 2007. He burst on the scene with a cumulative .328/.364/.445 line while playing for four teams that summer, including five games with Double-A Erie.
Douglas settled into a regular role with West Michigan in 2009, playing 83 games around some injuries. He hit well once again, posting a .322/.384/.374 line in the Midwest League at 23-years old.
Another injury derailed in 2010 as he missed the first part of the season before raking in 37 games with High-A Lakeland to earn a promotion to Double-A at the end of the year. At Erie he continued to hit with a .359 batting average and 17 doubles in just 35 games.
Douglas returned to Erie for the 2011 season after earning a big league spring training invitation and played in a career high 124 games for the SeaWolves. He got off to a dreadful start to the season before recovering to boost his final line to a respectable .281/.320/.371 at season's end.
From a scouting perspective Douglas is in a tough spot as a prospect. He is limited to second base defensively as he lacks the first step quickness, range and arm strength to handle the left side. He is solid at second base with decent hands and workable instincts.
He is an average to above-average runner though it doesn't always play well in short bursts from home to first. He is better once underway and can take an extra base on balls to the outfield.
Douglas lacks power or patience in his offensive profile. He is content to slap the first ball he can connect with to the opposite field, rather than wait for a pitch he can drive to the gaps. Pitchers in the Eastern League were rarely afraid to challenge him because of his lack of power; a trend that will continue against more advanced pitchers.
What Douglas can do is hit. He makes easy contact thanks to outstanding hand-eye coordination and good barrel awareness. He adjusts well to pitches and rarely strikes out.
Douglas' entire projection is tied to his ability to maintain a plus-plus batting average. Without that he quickly becomes a prospect without a big league tool and some scouts even question whether his slap-hitting approach to hitting will play in the Major Leagues.
If he hits constantly he could get a chance as a second division second baseman, similar to the chance Will Rhymes received in Detroit, but that's likely his ceiling.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% AA
Douglas finally played a full season in 2011 but concerns still exist over his durability. He has faced hamstring issues on multiple occasions.
Douglas is unlikely to receive another invitation to big league spring training after a modest campaign in the minor leagues in 2011. He will enter minor league camp with a chance to earn a promotion to Toledo and a fall back of heading back to Erie for a third tour.
At 26-years old entering the 2012 season, Douglas' prospect window is quickly shutting before him. The upcoming season may be his last chance to find a big league opportunity with the Tigers as the club continues to search for a permanent solution to the second base woes that have plagued them since Placido Polanco's departure.
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