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Detroit Tigers Prospects 2016 TigsTown Top 50: 30-21

Continuing the countdown of the Top 50 prospects in the Detroit Tigers organization, we take a look at those prospects ranked just inside the top 30, including a big right-hander that could figure into the Tigers bullpen plans in the near future.

#30 – Grayson Greiner - Catcher

Griener's prospect stock continues to fall following an abysmal statistical year with High-A Lakeland. Drafted as a big, physical backstop with a strong defensive profile and a chance to show some power in game situations, Greiner has stagnated with his approach regressing, power not flashing in games, and even his defense taking a step backwards. Moving out of the horrible offensive environment of the FSL may help Greiner, and Tiger fans could be looking at a prospect similar to James McCann by the end of the 2016 season. However, without a rebound next season, Greiner risks falling completely off the radar.

#29 – Cam Gibson - Outfielder

Gibson’s style of play, much like his father’s, will endear him to Tiger fans very quickly. He is a gritty, heady player that gives plenty of effort every time he steps on the field. Gibson’s calling card is his 70-grade speed that allows him to steal bases, take extra bases at times, and cover ground in the outfield. His approach at the plate hinders his ability to make consistent contact and get on base, but some scouts believe his feel for the game will allow that to develop. If his hitting ability evolves, Gibson could be a top of the order hitter that hangs in center field despite a poor arm. Without improvement in his hitting ability, Gibson projects as more of a bench outfielder or org player.

 

#28 – Gregory Soto – Left-Handed Pitcher

Quite possibly the next big name in the Tigers farm system, Soto has the potential to shoot up this list over the next year. Armed with a fastball that can reach 95-96 mph at times from the left side, Soto gets on hitters quickly and he backs up the fastball with a curveball that some scouts project to an above-average level. Both his changeup and command must continue to develop or he will be destined for the bullpen, but if he can make additional strides, Soto could be an intriguing option as a starting pitcher.

 

#27 – Angel Nesbitt – Right-Handed Pitcher

Nesbitt raced through several levels of the Tigers system in 2014 and then found himself in the big leagues in 2015, though that experience likely didn’t go as he would have hoped. Thanks to a mid-90s fastball and a cutter that has become a weapon, Nesbitt has some potential as a seventh inning or middle reliever. He was undone by his lack of command in the big leagues and that must be the focus of his development in 2016 or he runs the risk of falling into an up-and-down role moving between Triple-A and the big leagues for a few seasons.

 

#26 – Julio Martinez - Outfielder

A high upside player with impressive raw power, Martinez represents a rare commodity in today’s game. With his ability to generate bat speed, extend through the ball, and drive the ball to all fields, Martinez fits the mold of a prototypical slugger. Martinez’s hitting ability and defense will have to catch up to his high-end power potential, but if that happens, Martinez will quickly become one of the system’s brightest young prospects with the potential to be an impact big leaguer.

 

#25 – Gerson Moreno – Right-Handed Pitcher

At this time last year, Moreno was sitting around the fringes of prospect lists, earning some mention for his arm strength and ferocious mentality on the mound. Fast forward a year and we are discussing a pitcher that is consistently reaching triple digits and has shown the potential to dominate hitters older than him. Moreno’s breaking ball shows flashes of brilliance but he hasn’t put together the feel for spinning it consistently, and his command has yet to evolve with his velocity. Moreno remains a project and an extremely high risk prospect, but his potential as a late inning reliever is tantalizing.

 

#24 – Jose Valdez – Right-Handed Pitcher

The Tigers have bene patiently waiting for Valdez to find some consistency and cement himself as a viable big league relief option. When he’s right, Valdez will show a mid-90s heater that can reach 98-99 mph with explosive life, backed up by an above-average slider that misses bats. Far too often, though, Valdez can’t find the strike zone with either of his offerings, and his slider gets soft and loses bite. The raw potential exists for Valdez to develop into a setup reliever but his continued struggles finding the strike zone make him a long shot to reach that peak. A more likely scenario involves Valdez settling into middle relief and constantly forcing people to dream on what could be with his powerful arm.

 

#23 – Montreal Robertson – Right-Handed Pitcher

Added to the 40-man roster following the 2015 season, Robertson has navigated a long journey from a small junior college in Mississippi to the cusp of the big leagues. An athletic and physical right-hander, Robertson can push his fastball up to 98-99 mph and will site 94-96 with life in nearly every outing. At times, Robertson’s slider will show as a plus pitch, giving him the ability to dominate hitters when he has his game working. Robertson is still raw in and inexperienced, meaning there will be growing pains as he reaches Detroit, but he could be a high-velocity seventh inning arm that helps the Tigers bullpen for several years.

 

#22 – Endrys Briceno – Right-Handed Pitcher

Briceno is one of the forgotten men of the Tigers system, having missed much of the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to injury. Before he went on the disabled list, Brieno showed an exceptional easy delivery with the ball jumping out of his hand to the tune of a 92-95 mph fastball that scraped higher, and two potentially average secondary pitches with his curveball and changeup. The raw stuff has always been more intriguing than the results, and Briceno has lost considerable developmental time, but if he can make strides now that he is healthy, he could regain his status as a potential mid-rotation starter.

 

#21 – Kade Scivicque – Catcher

The Tigers fourth round pick in 2015, Scivicque is a classic Tigers selection in that he is a quality college performer from a tough baseball conference, and he could move quickly through the system. No single part of Scivicque’s game stands out or carries his profile, but he does many things solidly and should be a big league catcher in some fashion. Offering a sound approach at the plate, Scivicque has average bat speed, good hand-eye coordination and enough hitting ability for his fringe power to play to the gaps. Scivicque needs to do work behind the plate to stay there, such as improving his receiving skills and footwork, but many within the organization are confident he can handle the position.

 


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