Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
While there are any number of players that could step up and impress early, I'm going to go with former Kentucky third baseman Michael Bertram. Bertram has gotten just a few games in with the GCL Tigers so far, but has a good stick and has excellent patience, a rare trait for someone that will spend his first season in the GCL Rookie league. Bertram might not ever become a star player for the club, but I could certainly see him breaking out and impressing in his professional debut.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
I think we could see 29th round choice Chris Carlson, have a nice start to his career, for many reasons. First, I'm not entirely convinced he was merely a 29th round talent, but that he fell because many teams didn't feel he would sign. He's also slated to be facing a considerably weaker crop of pitchers in the Gulf Coast League, which should help boost his early numbers. Carlson has big time power right now, with the potential to develop light-tower power as he continues maturing. His patience has improved throughout college, and he commands the zone well, only struggling to recognize breaking pitches with regularity. He's hit with wood in the past, and that trend should continue this summer. He won't blow you away with tools or athleticism, but he can mash the ball.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
My choice for late-round success is Brett Jensen, who was selected by the Tigers in 14th round out of Nebraska. Jensen has been known to scouts for awhile now. When the Tigers selected him earlier this month, it marked the third time he had been drafted. Jensen has a big frame at 6-foot-7, and he uses his size to give hitters a tough look with his sidearm angle. Jensen has a great track record, posting a 2.26 ERA and 29 saves in his last two years in Lincoln. In 91 2/3 innings, he walked only 19 and struck out 87. Jensen normally sits in the 87-90 range with his fastball, but it will be intriguing to see if he adds more velocity down the line. If Jensen can sharpen his slider and make his changeup a reliable third pitch, he could move very quickly through the system as a reliever.
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