10. Wilkin Ramirez – Third Baseman
One of the largest enigmas in the system, Ramirez tantalizes with tools, but disappoints with production. He has every tool you can imagine; power, speed, arm, etc. He just can't apply it on the baseball field. Without some progress in the season's second half he's in danger of starting to fall off the radar. With even modest progress, hope in his incredible ceiling will remain.
9. Kevin Whelan – Relief Pitcher
Even with a rough patch that saw him get knocked around the Florida State League for several weeks, Whelan is still the top relief prospect in the system, and a good bet to move quickly. He has a powerful fastball-splitter combination that he needs to command better, but the arm is there to become an elite late inning reliever.
8. Brent Clevlen – Outfielder
Clevlen's season has been brutal, to say the least. He still has the tools that made him the FSL MVP last season, but he hasn't adjusted to better pitching in AA. He's been pressing since he received the praises of Al Kaline in spring training. He needs to turn it around and re-establish himself as the successor to Magglio Ordonez.
7. Jeff Larish – First Baseman
A pure power hitting first baseman, Larish's polished bat should continue to develop as he gains further pro experience. He has an outstanding eye at the plate, and is solid around the bag at first. His power will carry him to the Majors, but the rest of the package is better than average.
6. Brennan Boesch – Outfielder
A big surprise on this list, but Boesch screams potential and ceiling. Despite an outstanding collegiate career that saw him demonstrate some very advanced skills, Brennan has plenty of room to continue growing, and could become an elite outfield prospect in short order. Keep an eye on him, and don't be surprised if he skips straight to Lakeland in 2007.
5. Humberto Sanchez – Starting Pitcher
Here's what I said about Sanchez during the off-season:
"…if his encouraging trip to Arizona is a harbinger of things to come in 2006, he could rocket straight back towards the Top 10."
Well, Humberto did exactly that. He has been absolutely dominant thus far, and seems willing to dial back on his power arsenal in order to control it and get outs at exceptional rates. He has tightened up his breaking ball, and appears ready to burst on the Major League scene.
4. Jordan Tata – Starting Pitcher
After acquitting himself well during his ML debut, Tata is re-establishing himself as a solid starter prospect at AAA-Toledo. He's not controlling his stuff quite as well, but his cutter is still outstanding, and he could fill some spot starts if needed near season's end. He profiles as a back of the rotation starter, unless he improves his breaking ball considerably.
3. Jair Jurrjens – Starting Pitcher
Jurrjens continues to impress, and he is slowly making believers out of many scouts. He's added a tick to his top-end velocity, and his control is still superb. After dominating the FSL, Jair has handled his promotion to Erie with nary a bump. If this continues through the end of the season, he could be pushing for time in Detroit by the close of 2007.
2. Andrew Miller – Starting Pitcher
Miller's a bit of a question to sign, but if he does, he instantly becomes the #2 prospect in the system. His electric arsenal and durable left arm provide the Tigers with another elite pitching prospect. He should move quickly, and could see time in Detroit next season. He will likely be challenging for a permanent spot in 2008. Watch out folks, this kid is nasty.
1. Cameron Maybin – Outfielder
With the graduation of the organizations top two prospects, there was little doubt Maybin would fill the #1 slot, but he's earned it anyway. While working around a bizarre finger injury, Maybin has posted impressive numbers, only lacking homerun power in a park not known for yielding the long ball. He is the classic five-tool player, and he may move faster than many originally thought. Maybin's the real deal, and he should eventually team with Curtis Granderson to make a dynamic, dominant outfield duo.