#10 - Curtis Granderson

Several years ago, the Tigers had a hot young prospect by the name of Juan Encarnacion; a 5-tool Outfielder who could to it all. Encarnacion has gone on to become a solid major league OF – albeit with other teams – but now the Tigers have a new 5-tool Outfielder: Curtis Granderson. He might not be out of the Randy Smith hype-generating machine, but he still possesses the tools to become an everyday major leaguer.

The Tigers selected Curtis Granderson out of the University of Illinois-Chicago in the third round of the 2002 draft. The 2002 draft had a big focus on the Outfield, as Granderson along with Brent Clevlen, Robbie Sovie, Bo Flowers and Wilton Reynolds were all selected among the first seven rounds. Of that entire group, Granderson is easily the most advanced and will probably be the first to reach the majors.

Granderson had a solid 2002, then followed it up with a very good 2003. While Granderson's numbers weren't amazing (.286-11-51), he also put up 29 doubles and 10 triples plus 10 Stolen Bases all the while leading the squad in most of its offensive categories. Granderson's defense was solid but not spectacular.

Granderson shows himself as someone who can do just about everything well, but nothing spectacularly. He won't hit 30 homers or drive in 100 runs, he won't swipe 30 bases and he won't become an incredible patrolman in the Outfield like Andruw Jones. But rather, Granderson can hold his own in every facet of the game and could become a solid, everyday major league Outfielder – hitting either in the 2-hole or somewhere near the bottom of the order.

Granderson will continue his move up the charts and will probably start this season with the Erie Seawolves. Granderson will start somewhere in the Outfield, although where is still to be determined – he could potentially take over in Centerfield, but if Nook Logan returns to Erie, he'll probably claim that job pushing Granderson into left. Regardless of where he plays this year though, the Tigers feel Granderson can occupy all of the Outfield positions.

Granderson, assuming he continues to develop, has an excellent chance of becoming a very big contributor with the Tigers in the next couple of years. He'll probably never be a star at the major league level – but his .286 average from last season was from all indications considered sub-par for his abilities, and if he'll probably be able to improve on that if he can improve his batting eye. Learn to take a few pitches and add turn a few of those doubles into Home Runs, and Granderson could be taking over for Rondell White in Left Field in 2006.

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