Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
As always, there have been a number of players that have been a pleasant surprise this season. But I'm going to have to give the nod to West Michigan closer Orlando Perdomo. His performance last year left me optimistic that he could be a contributor, but I certainly wasn't expecting a start like he's had; not only grabbing the closer's role in West Michigan, but shutting things down in all of his appearances. He's locked down seven saves with an ERA of just 1.04, and he's struck out 13 while not walking a single batter. Kevin Whelan has been getting all the hype to start the year, but don't overlook the closer a level below in Perdomo.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
For me, it's a pretty close race between Cameron Maybin and Jair Jurrjens. Maybin's offensive explosion has been incredible, but he was such a highly touted prospect, I'm not that surprised by it. I'd give the edge to Jurrjens at this juncture. Jurrjens has maintained his strikeout rates, and his incredible walk rates while moving up to a more hitter friendly league, against more advanced competition. Jair's velocity has gained a tick over the offseason, and he's still demonstrating the incredible command and poise that have been his calling cards since his GCL debut. With a 2.12 ERA in his first three starts, I have to say that Jurrjens start has been very impressive, and extremely encouraging.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I want to single out several members of the West Michigan pitching staff for their solid starts. First, Ramon Garcia has put together three pretty good starts heading into his Monday outing, and he has kind of stuck with me as a pitcher with his version of the knuckleball he throws. Most guys that sign as non-drafted free agents out of a small college have to turn heads with their performance to even get a second look, but Matt Rusch is doing just that so far. Sendy Vasquez continues to build on a solid year at Oneonta with 16 shutout innings, and Orlando Perdomo and Andrew Kown have taken nicely to their roles in the bullpen. Anthony Claggett also hasn't surrendered a run in 7 2/3 innings. The season is only a few weeks old, but to have so many great starts from several guys is a very nice surprise, and hopefully it will continue.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!