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Detroit Tigers 2016 Prospect Rankings - TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 50-41

TigsTown begins its release of the midseason top 50 prospects rankings with those prospects in the Tigers farm system that ranked just inside the top 50. The list is highlighted by a couple of recent statesiders and a couple of hard throwing relievers that may be running out of chances to prove their worth.

50. Hector Martinez – Second Baseman  

Martinez has held his own during his stateside debut in the Gulf Coast League, posting a solid average through the first month of his season. Martinez has played exclusively second base throughout the last two seasons, a move that helps his average speed and arm strength play better on defense. Martinez has shown a knack for contact and an ability to use the entire field, but he must develop his approach and add strength to avoid becoming an offensive liability.

 

49. Randel Alcantara – Third Baseman  

Though his batting average has dipped since coming stateside, Alcantara has continued to drive the ball for extra-base hits, pounding three doubles and three home runs in just 19 games this summer. Alcantara’s prospect stock will rise and fall with his ability to hit for power in game situations, putting significant pressure on his hit tool. Alcantara has the ingredients to stay at the hot corner long term, assuming he doesn’t outgrow the position.

 

48. Joey Pankake – Infielder     

An intriguing offensive talent, Pankake’s numbers have dipped for the second year in a row, with a low average and low OBP, though his in-game home run power has spiked with 15 bombs in the offensively challenging Florida State League. Exclusively a second baseman this season, most scouts still believe Pankake has to find a suitable defensive home, something that continues to hold him back as a prospect. Pankake has the offensive potential to hit for a decent average with power, but he has to find a spot on the diamond where a team can handle his defensive misgivings.

 

47. Francisco German – Right-Handed Pitcher  

Still just 19-years old and in his third professional season, German has shifted to the rotation this year in the GCL, dominating opposing rookie league hitters at times, thanks to his excellent fastball and developing breaking ball. German can sit in the mid-90s when everything is working and scouts have reported him reaching as high as 97 mph at times. Long term, most scouts see the bullpen in German’s future, but as he matures physically and if he pitches in shorter stints, his fastball could approach the elite range.

 

46. Joe Mantiply – Left-Handed Pitcher  

There’s nothing sexy in Mantiply’s profile, but he pounds the strike zone with a well-rounded arsenal, and he dominates left-handed hitters to the tune of a .157/.187/.229 line against him this year. Mantiply’s fastball can reach 91-92 mph at times and he has enough deception in his delivery to give the appearance of a harder heater. The Tigers need additional help in the bullpen this year, and Mantiply could be a dark horse to help in that capacity down the stretch.

 

45. Shane Zeile – Catcher  

Zeile has continued to miss time with injuries again in 2016, something that has been a disturbing trend throughout his career. Without reps on the field, Zeile has little chance to convert raw potential to on-field results. When healthy, Zeile shows an above-average defensive package, including good athleticism. He’s also a strong natural hitter with a feel for the barrel and some gap power, making him an intriguing catching prospect.

 

44. Artie Lewicki – Right-Handed Pitcher    

A senior sign out of Virginia in 2014, Lewicki has made slow and steady progress through the Tigers system, earning praise as a sleeper prospect since draft day. He has a broad arsenal and pounds the strike zone with several fringe-average to average pitches. None of his pitches will miss bats consistently at the highest level, but he owns enough command to keep the ball at the edges and induce plenty of weak contact. Lewicki doesn’t have much in the way of a ceiling, but he does have a chance to work as a back-end starter if things break right.

 

43. Edgar De La Rosa – Right-Handed Pitcher

It is easy to believe De La Rosa may be running out of opportunities to impress enough to garner a big league shot, but when you’re a mountain of a man and you can pound 99-101 mph fastballs in relief, you tend to continue getting chances to prove yourself. “DeLa” hasn’t done much in 2016 – as season in which he was supposed to be healthy and back on track after a torn lat – thanks to an off-field issue that has kept him away from the ball park. The Tigers re-signed De La Rosa as a minor league free agent last winter, and they will have to make a similar decision come this fall if they want to keep their big fire baller.

 

42. Austin Sodders – Left-Handed Pitcher  

The Tigers seventh round pick this summer out of UC Riverside, Sodders has a big 6-foot-5 frame that helps generate strong angle to the plate and makes his fringe fastball (88-90 mph, t92) play a half-tick higher than the raw velocity suggests. Sodders has the command profile to make a fringe fastball work from the left side, but he has to refine his breaking ball and changeup if he wants to find sustained success in the rotation. With development, Sodders could be a #4/#5 starter.

 

41. Angel Nesbitt – Right-Handed Pitcher

Once considered a rising bullpen piece for the Tigers, Nesbitt is in jeopardy of falling off the big league radar after struggling in both Erie and Toledo in 2016. At his best, Nesbitt can reach the mid-90s with his four-seam fastball and works in the low-90s with his cutter, but neither pitch has the necessary life to miss bats out of the bullpen. Nesbitt’s control will escape him at times, causing him to find the center of the plate and far too many barrels. If Nesbitt can harness his stuff, he could be a middle reliever in the big leagues. 


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