Prospects of the Month - April

Each month, TigsTown.com will evaluate the minor league farm clubs and elect among the prospects the player (position player or pitcher) that had the best month and was in turn that team's top prospect. Want to know which prospects are rising to the top of the group on each club, and who had the best month? Find out inside.

AAA TOLEDO - Reliever Franklyn German
Admittedly, the Mudhens aren't stacked with prospects at this point in time. In fact, German's only real competition for the award was OF Nook Logan, solely because the Mudhens don't have another player currently on the roster that can still be considered a prospect, someone with legitimate upside and future potential. For the month, German went 2-0 while recording 5 saves for the Mudhens. He also struck out 10 batters and walked 4 while carrying a 1.00 ERA. Between his excellent performance and the unimpressive showing by the Tiger bullpen lately, German could see himself in the ol' English 'D' again soon. Hopefully this time around German will remain calm, keep the ball down in the strike zone, and most importantly, get hitters out.

AA ERIE - First Baseman Juan Tejada
Erie had a number of impressive performances, but none differentiated themselves more than Tejada. Tejada, through May 1st, was sporting a .282 batting average, with an extremely impressive .549 slugging percentage. Tejada leads the team with 19 RBI, and also is tied for the team lead with 4 Home Runs. Many scouts were weary of whether or not Tejada could ever become a major league First Baseman because of his lack of power, but his power swing is developing wonderfully, and don't be surprised if you start to hear a lot about this youngster, especially if Carlos Pena continues his inconsistent play at the big league level.

HIGH-A LAKELAND - Starter Humberto Sanchez
In an extremely close battle with 2003 first round pick Kyle Sleeth, Sanchez edges out the heralded prospect due to Sleeth's slow start to the year. Through May 1st, Sanchez is 3-2 with an ERA of 3.21. Sanchez also currently has a K:BB ratio of nearly 5 to 1 (29:6) and has pitched one complete game. Between Sanchez, Sleeth and Joel Zumaya, the Tigers have a trio of pitchers that all could be pushing for a rotation spot sooner rather than later. Sanchez nabs the award this month, but Sleeth and Zumaya could get it just as easily next month.

LOW-A WEST MICHIGAN - Shortstop Tony Giarratano
Giarratano might not be the fielder that fellow SS prospect Anderson Hernandez is, but Giarratano has shown in just under a year of professional baseball that he sure can hit. For the month of April, Giarratano hit .329 for the Whitecaps, to go along with a home run and 8 RBI. Giarratano also scored 13 runs while taking 11 walks and swiping 5 bases. His defense still needs some work, but Giarratano has his sights set on the starting Shortstop job with the Tigers, and he plans on hitting his way there.


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