Prospect Profile: Cory Middleton

Cory Middleton joined the Tigers after a sensational high school campaign, but has not been able to put things together on a consistent basis as a professional. Middleotn has tremendous raw potential, but he must learn how to apply them on the diamond. Check inside to see what makes Middleton's game tick, and what he must to in order to get a shot at Detroit.

Position: Third Base Height: 6-1 Weight: 195
Born: 10/3/1985Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Taken in the 10th round of the 2004 Draft, Middleton came out of Escambia High School as a shortstop and pitcher with a long track record of success. Middleton led not only his team in nearly every offensive category in 2004, but also all of Florida's District 1, sporting a nifty .478/.578/1.105 line with 11 homeruns and 37 RBI in just 25 games. On the mound, Cory was second on the team in ERA with a 2.43 average, striking out 44 in 32 innings. The high point of Cory's pitching exploits this past season was tossing a no-hitter against Hartselle High School of Alabama. Cory's efforts at the plate and on the mound helped lead his team to a 20-6 record, and earned him a selection on day one of the MLB Draft. Cory's career got off to a rocky start in the Gulf Coast League in 2004, posting a .234/.288/.366 line in 43 games. Despite the rough numbers, scouts could easily see the tools that could make him a very good player. The 2004 season at Oneonta started off much better, posting a .287/.371/.457 line through the first 35 games. Unfortunately, his season took a dive, posting a .208/.259/.369 line over the final 33 games. The Tigers challenged Middleton with an assignment to West Michigan, where he has gotten off to another rough start.

Scouting Report
Cory's a very athletic player who uses his quickness and natural abilities to his advantage in the field. Above average range, good hands, and quick feet give Middleton the tools to be a plus defender at the hot corner. His arm is merely average, but he has enough carry on the ball to succeed at third. Offensively, his mechanics need refinement and consistency, but those can be helped with professional instruction. Cory often gets too spread out at the plate and has trouble repeating his swing from one pitch to the next. He has started to make progress on shortening his stroke, but there is still significant work. Gap power is already evident, and he could generate even more homerun power as he fills out his wiry frame. Middleton needs to refine his strike zone judgment to become a successful hitter, but that should come with maturity and further experience. He has demonstrated terrific plate judgment in spurts, but must master this trait to maintain success. An intelligent player who is always giving maximum effort, Cory will create opportunities for to succeed.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

H

2B

HR

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2006

W. Michigan

108

23

7

0

5

21

.213

.254

.278


*Stats are updated as of 5/25/06*

Health Record
Cory has had no major injuries at this point in his career.

The Future
Cory is having trouble adjusting to his first taste of full season ball, but indications are that he should come around at some point. He is demonstrating a reasonable eye at the plate, but struggling to drive the ball with consistency. Middleton has the ceiling to be a solid corner infielder, but he is extremely raw and must continue his extensive work to take the next step. The Tigers are high on Cory's potential, but recognize his faults. Look for him to post some moderate numbers this season, and don't be surprised if he's forced to repeat the Midwest League in 2007. Since he won't turn 21 until October, repeating A-ball would not be a huge setback to his career.


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