TigsTown Midseason Top 50 Countdown: 40-31

Continuing the week debuting the Tigers Top Midseason Top 50 prospects, we move onto the second group, where a few recent additions currently reside, but could make waves in the coming months as they kick off their professional careers.

40. Cole Miller – C – GCL Tigers
Coming into last season, Miller was an afterthought behind other more recognizable prospects like Cody Collet. But Miller took advantage of the playing time he received, and put up a .269/.292/.431 line at the GCL. Miller, a 12th round selection in the 2004 draft, will repeat the GCL, but more due to a logjam of catchers ahead of him. The Tigers will look for big things from him.

39. Agustin Guzman – 2B – GCL Tigers
Agustin Guzman, a native of the Dominican Republic, was a bit of a surprise pick by the Tigers just a few weeks ago. But the surprise wasn't because of his lack of talent. At just 17, Guzman hit .459/.535/.945 for Baton Rouge CC, and now will look to bring that success to the Tigers organization, once he returns from the Dominican Republic.

38. Danilo Sanchez – C – Lakeland
Despite being a bit old for his age (24 years old for high-A ball), Sanchez has continued to produce. After becoming the most reliable hitter on last season's Midwest League champion Whitecaps club, Sanchez has continued his success, posting a .273/.361/.526 line. The Tigers would be advised to elevate the aging Sanchez to discover whether or not Sanchez is for real, or just an older player picking on younger peers.

37. Eric Beattie – RHP – GCL Tigers
Beattie has easily been one of the most confusing stories of the 2005 season. After being a second round draft pick in 2004, Beattie didn't pitch at all in 2004, and since has seen his control go out the window as he's found it increasingly difficult to find the plate. Certainly not the prognosis the front office was hoping for, with Beattie failing to throw a professional inning more than a year after being drafted.

36. Clete Thomas – OF – Oneonta
After it not being a certainty whether or not Thomas would sign or return to Auburn for his senior year, the Tigers quickly inked Thomas to bring him into the fold. A superb athlete (arguably already the best in the organization), Thomas hasn't yet reached his potential, but will be given plenty of opportunity to do so in an outfield starving for prospects in the lower rungs of the organization.

35. Jeremy Johnson – RHP – Erie
Few remember that Johnson is extremely young, pitching in Double-A ball at just 22 years of age. At 19 years of age, Johnson made it all the way up to AA Erie, and put up solid numbers in the process. After missing much of 2003 and 2004 due to injury, Johnson appears to be back on track with a sub-4 ERA. Now it'll be up to Johnson to show that he's come full circle and ready to return to the upper echelon of Tiger prospects.

34. Preston Larrison – RHP – Lakeland
Just ten months removed from Tommy John surgery, Larrison has surprisingly made his return to action, pitching under the observation of the organization's training staff at their offseason facilities in Lakeland, while pitching for the L-Tigers. Larrison is 0-2 with a 4.98 ERA in six starts, and while the numbers aren't impressive, the simple fact that he's back pitching is.

33. Audy Ciriaco – SS – GCL Tigers
After being signed by the Tigers as a 17 year old out of the Dominican Republic, the raw Ciriaco has reported to the GCL and will spend his first season with the organization learning the ropes in rookie ball. Ciriaco is a big guy with huge power potential and tremendous upside. Ciriaco is obviously still young, but will be one to watch in the next couple years, as he was a highly sought after talent that the Tigers landed.

32. Randor Bierd – RHP – Lakeland
Bierd has been an interesting story over the past year-plus, as he's elevated himself from starting in rookie ball last year all the way up to a brief stint in Erie earlier this year. Lakeland is already the third stop for the young righty, who appears to have plenty of potential, though some are concerned about the considerable jumping around he's doing from one team to another.

31. Eulogio DeLa Cruz – RHP – Lakeland
It's been mixed reviews so far as DeLa Cruz has been concerned, as while he continues to possess a live arm, his small stature makes him less than imposing, and his stats certainly haven't been overwhelming. The organization experimented with him in the rotation, but has since moved him and his 4.65 ERA back to the bullpen, where his future is.


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