TigsTown Roundtable: Outfield Strength

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Is the Tigers' minor league system stronger in corner outfielders or centerfielders?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
While this space is typically put up to take on a controversial topic and make an argument one way or the other, I just don't see how one can make an argument that the Tigers have any strength what-so-ever in the corners. The Tigers lone standout position player prospect is in center. The Tigers have another member of their top ten prospects playing center, and on top of that, Brent Clevlen, the top corner outfield prospect, could well find himself in Detroit because of his ability to handle centerfield defensively.

Players like Brennan Boesch and Matt Joyce leave potential in the corners, but realistically, neither will ever be a standout like Maybin likely will be, or even Gorkys Hernandez could be.

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
If the Tigers have one position with a bunch of talented players -- aside from pitching -- it might just be the outfield. On the corner, not only do they have boppers like Monroe, Ordonez, Sheffield, and Thames at the big league level, but they've also got guys like Brent Clevlen, Matt Joyce, Michael Hernandez, and Brennan Boesch coming along through the system. In addition to these youngsters, guys like Clete Thomas and Justin Justice could soon become permanent fixtures at an outfield corner, rather than their current homes in center. The largest problem I see here; there just isn't any star potential -- none at all. The Tigers not only have Curtis Granderson at the big league level, but they also have superb centerfield prospects like Cameron Maybin and Gorkys Hernandez on the way. Add to that the presence of potentially top-notch prospects like Deik Scram and Alexis Espinoza, and you not only have depth, but some serious talent. The Tigers have long had a fascination with speed, but recent organizational edicts have resulted in fast players -- capable of covering centerfield -- that actually have discernible baseball skills to go with those blazing wheels. Considering the overall depth in center, as well as the pure potential and baseball ability, I don't think there is any doubt that the Tigers have more talent there than on the corners of the outfield.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I think the Tigers are in better shape in center field. With Curtis Granderson taking over full time last year, the have a solid player to build with for the future. The thing is what Granderson's future in center could be limited with the emergence of Cameron Maybin. If Maybin continues to develop, one of them will move to a corner, but given how big Comerica Park is, the corner outfielders need to have centerfield-type range, and the Tigers will have two of them that can really track balls down. Alhtough they are a long ways off, Gorkys Hernandez, Deik Scram, and Alexis Espinosa could also be center fielders coming up through the system.

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!


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