2015 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 20-11

Continuing to countdown the TigsTown Top 50 prospects at the midseason mark, we take a look at those who came in just outside the top ten.

#20 – Kevin Ziomek – Left-Handed Pitcher
Ziomek has always intrigued because of his size, broad arsenal, and raw potential as a mid-rotation starter, but his stock has begun to slip in the last twelve months. With his fastball velocity backing up into the 89-91 mph range, rather than consistently sitting in the low-90s, and with continued difficulty throwing quality strikes, more scouts are beginning to see Ziomek as a reliever long term rather than a back-end starter.

#19 – Grayson Greiner – Catcher
Another college performer, Greiner is also seeing his stock slip with a sub-par first half in High-A. Drafted as a quality defender with potential to offer some pop at the plate, Greiner has struggled with consistency behind the dish in 2015, and his bat has looked slow with a hard time making consistent contact. The raw physical ingredients are still present for Greiner to regain his prospect shine, but he will need to do it quickly before he begins earning an organizational tag.

#18 – Julio Martinez – Outfielder
The Tigers highest profile international free agent from the 2014 signing season, Martinez’s calling card is his impressive raw power. A decent athlete, Martinez profiles on an outfield corner where he should be a solid defender. His hit tool and approach will need to develop against more advanced arms, but with his potential as a power hitter, Martinez is a name to watch going forward.

#17 – A.J. Simcox – Shortstop
Signed to an over-slot deal as a late round pick this summer, Simcox enters pro ball with a sound defensive reputation and near unanimous belief that he can be a high-end defender at the infield’s toughest position. Simcox has an exceptional approach at the plate and there are scouts that believe he can hit for average and get on-base at the highest level.

#16 – Edgar De La Rosa – Right-Handed Pitcher
Finally moved to the bullpen where many have projected him to land for years, De La Rosa has struggled in a variety of ways at Double-A this season. Though his fastball velocity remains impressive, consistently sitting in the upper-90s, his control of the pitch has lagged behind, and both his slider and changeup have failed to make progress, leaving him easy to barrel and in need of developmental progress. If he can pull things together, De La Rosa could fit in a 7th or 8th inning role, but he needs several things to go right to reach that projection.

#15 – Jose Valdez – Right-Handed Pitcher
Another high-power relief arm, Valdez has struggled throwing strikes this season, and even when he’s in the zone, the pitch is center cut and prone to being ripped by advanced minor league hitters. At his best, Valdez has a power arsenal with his fastball and slider and he could become another setup arm down the line.

#14 – Anthony Periera – Infielder
One of the organization’s fastest rising prospects, Periera could be poised to jump onto the national scene over the next year or two. A gifted offensive talent, Periera has a chance to hit for average and some power, with an approach that is improving rapidly and could allow his tools to translate. The offensive potential will allow him to succeed even if he is forced off shortstop down the line, but the Tigers believe he can play the position and will give him every chance to do so as he moves toward his full-season debut.

#13 – Angel Nesbitt – Right-Handed Pitcher
Making his Major League debut this season, Nesbitt has a mind-90s fastball and a cutter that can eat bats alive, making him a potential middle reliever or 7th inning arm in his best seasons. Nesbitt is a near finished product that just needs to refine his command in order to settle in at the big league level. Nesbitt should get additional chances in 2015, and he should be a fixture in the Tigers bullpen next season.

#12 – Drew Smith – Right-Handed Pitcher
One of the Tigers high-round selections from this summer’s draft, Smith could move quickly as a power-arm reliever that relies on a mid-90s fastball and impressive breaking ball. Smith’s ability to throw consistent strikes has improved over the last two college seasons and if that progress is carried over to his pro debut, he could find himself at Double-A quickly with a chance to hit the big league level within two years of being drafted.

#11 – Javier Betancourt – Second Baseman
The nephew of Edgardo Alfonso, Betancourt has been blessed with outstanding baseball instincts and overall feel for the game. His heady style of play is evident in the field where he shows as a potential plus defender at second base. At the plate, Betancourt has a knack for contact and can work the ball to all fields thanks to excellent barrel control. He needs to gain strength in order to drive the ball and keep pitchers honest, and if he can do that, he could be a second division player at the keystone.


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