Position: Shortstop Height: 6-3 Weight: 195
Born: 6/16/1987 Bats: Right Throws: Right
The Tigers signed Ciriaco out of the Dominican Republic during the 2004-05 off-season for a reportedly modest signing bonus. Despite drawing interest and larger offers from several team, Ciriaco opted for the Tigers in a bit of a surprise signing. The Tigers wasted no time in bringing Audy stateside to work with the organizations instructors, making his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League this past summer. At only 17 years old, Ciriaco was part of the younger contingent present in the league. Despite the hype, Audy struggled to get going in his first taste of big time baseball, posting a modest .250/.299/.421 line in 40 games.
Ciriaco's tools suggest nothing short of stardom in his future, but it could take some time before those tools translate to professional success. Audy's most impressive attribute is his bat and general baseball acumen. Ciriaco has a naturally quick swing with strong wrists and forearms that allow him to snap the bat through the zone. This quick swing, combined with his natural loft should allow Ciriaco to hit for significant power as his body continues to mature physically. At times, his swing can get a touch long and he focuses too much on pulling the ball, but he has demonstrated the ability to adjust and correct his mistakes quickly. The only thing holding back Audy's bat at this time, is his general approach. Having not played competitive baseball extensively prior to this season, Ciriaco struggles with pitch recognition, and must improve his discipline if he is to experience success at the plate. Defensively, Ciriaco has very good instincts that help make up for his average range and speed. His arm is a plus tool that just needs improved accuracy. Ciriaco has a tendency to rush himself on routine plays, not utilizing his arm strength to his advantage. This tendency leads to many bobbled balls and errant throws. With increased maturity and playing experience, Ciriaco has a chance to be a solid defender at short. Some see his defensive future at third base, where his bat would likely play well.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% R
Ciriaco has not experienced any significant injuries to date.
Despite some struggles in his professional debut, the Tigers will likely push Ciriaco to the short-season New York-Penn League in 2006. Ciriaco has an advanced baseball mind and the mentality to handle the challenge well. A full off-season working on a professional training program and continued work on pitch recognition should yield promising results this season. Audy has an ideal frame for adding strength and developing into a top-notch offensive threat. The Tigers will be working hard to get him as much game experience as possible, with hopes that he can progress quickly through the system. Even though Audy is very raw at this juncture, he's showed enough pure talent to warrant excitement and attention.