#20 – Sendy Vasquez – Starting Pitcher
Yet another Tiger prospect with a big time right arm; Vasquez can blow a ball by nearly anyone, but still has lots of work to do before he should be considered a sure thing. With fringy secondary pitches and as a pitcher that will start the 2007 season at age 24, Vasquez needs an electric season at a higher level to get a real shot at the big leagues.
#19 – Virgil Vasquez – Starting Pitcher
After turning pro out of UC Santa Barbara in 2003, Vasquez has long been a forgotten man within the organization. He has consistently been a solid, if unspectacular pitcher, and shows the intelligence necessary to succeed with a fringe-average arsenal. Virgil made the needed adjustment in his second exposure to AA-Erie in 2006, and he should demonstrate similar success at AAA in 2007. He's a sleeper to fill a back end of someone's rotation down the line.
#18 – Jonah Nickerson – Starting Pitcher
While Andre Miller received hype for the potential that he could pitch in the College World Series and the Major League World Series in one year, Nickerson sat back with a smile – knowing that he helped his Oregon State Beavers take home the college national championship. Nickerson has an overall skill set that rates as a tick above average, and he should be able to move rather quickly through the system. Don't be surprised if he's in High-A by the close of next season.
#17 – Lucas French – Starting Pitcher
The top lefty in the organization not named Andrew Miller, French was finally able to settle into one rotation and strut his stuff in 2006. The owner of an above average fastball and a curve with the potential to become a true out pitch, Lucas is still inexperienced on the mound and has a lot to learn. The Tigers will likely see how he handles Lakeland in 2007, and with a solid performance for the L-Tigers, he could become more of a household name in short order.
#16 – Ronnie Bourquin – Third Baseman
Bourquin took home the Big Ten batting crown last spring, and the joy he exhibits at the plate is infectious amongst his teammates. He hasn't yet developed true corner infield power, but he has begun adding more loft to his swing. Quite possibly the most patient hitter in the entire organization, Bourquin embodies the skills the Tigers are now trying to cultivate at the minor league level. Don't be shocked if he skips right to Lakeland to start next season.
#15 – Jeff Frazier – Outfielder
The former Rutgers star struggled through an absolutely abysmal 2006 season, but still projects to be a solid player when all is said and done. Frazier has good tools across the board, highlighted by his ability to control the strike zone and smoke line drives from line to line. In spite of his struggles in 2006, expect him to be starting in the Erie outfield next spring.
#14 – Brennan Boesch – Outfielder
Scouts have loved Boesch's tools since high school, and because they never translated to exceptional numbers while at Cal, many have considered him a bit of a disappointment. The Tigers were thrilled to nab the multi-talented outfielder in the third round this summer. Brennan's power was undoubtedly on display during the New York-Penn League season, and the Tigers hope that trend continues in his first taste of full-season ball.
#13 – Anthony Claggett – Relief Pitcher
Because Claggett is so raw and still new to pitching, he caught many by surprise this season. Anthony was absolutely dominant from day one, and even tossed a scoreless inning in his emergency trip to Toledo in July. With a plus fastball and devastating slider, he has the ability to be an outstanding late inning stopper, and he could fly through the system if he displays success similar to his season with the Whitecaps.
#12 – Scott Sizemore – Shortstop
As one of those rare players who are a better hitter with wood than aluminum, Sizemore burst on the scene after turning pro in June. Scott's success was eerily reminiscent of current Tiger Curtis Granderson's dominance of the New York-Penn League in 2002. Sizemore is a natural second baseman, but he handled shortstop well, and may continue to get opportunities to remain at the position.
#11 – Dallas Trahern – Starting Pitcher
Trahern has steadily moved up on this list because of continued exceptional performance at every level. Thus far, Dallas has been successful in spite of dangerously low strikeout rates. His sinker, slider, change-up combination induces groundballs almost at will, and enables him to stay out of major trouble. Dallas will get his first exposure to truly advanced hitters when he debuts at AA in 2007, and it will be interesting to see how he handles this new challenge.