TigsTown Top 50: 30-21

Moving closer and closer to the Top 10 prospects in the organization, we take a look at those prospects that made into the organization's top 30. Who fell where, and which top prospects have fallen hard after being highly regarded for the past few seasons? Find out inside.

30. Michael Hernandez – Outfield
He may have been signed out of a tryout camp, but that doesn't change the fact that Mike continues to pound the ball everywhere he goes. After another season of consistent slugging at both Lakeland and Erie, Hernandez is starting to make noise as a potential Major League prospect. With another season of driving the ball to the gaps, you could begin hearing his name more prominently.

29. Eddie Bonine – Right-handed Pitcher
The revamping of Bonine's pitching style is still a work in progress, as he's barely a year removed from being a full-time knuckle baller, but that doesn't change the fact that he has since established himself as a solid prospect. With plus-plus command of three pitches, Bonine is on the verge of a look in the big leagues.

28. Andrew Kown – Right-handed Pitcher
Kown has always had the potential to contribute at the big league level, but his inconsistency has killed him. Despite his lanky frame, he normally sits in the 90-92 range with his fastball and compliments it with an above-average slider. He began to put things together this summer, and Pitching Coach AJ Sager believes he may be closer to the big leagues than most would think.

27. Mark Brackman – Right-handed Pitcher
Coming out of a small college (William Jewel College), Brackman may not be someone that initially triggers thoughts of a top prospect, but he has the size, stuff, and poise to make a push for the big leagues. His heavy fastball sits in the 90-92 range, and his determination makes it that much more effective.

26. Alfredo Figaro – Right-handed Pitcher
Figaro has impressive arm strength that he must begin to harness to reach his significant potential. After being released by the Dodgers in October 2004, Figaro signed on with Detroit and has begun slowly trying to command his blazing fastball. He made strides in 2007, carrying a strikeout to walk ration of nearly 3:1.

25. Cale Iorg – Shortstop
The Tigers felt Iorg was worth nearly a $1.5 million signing bonus after being away from the game for two years on a Mormon mission. While he worked to shake off the rust playing with Lakeland this fall, there is still a ways to go before he is back to the promising form he showed as a freshman at the University of Alabama. If things come back together for him, Iorg could follow his father's path to the Major Leagues.

24. Jonah Nickerson – Right-handed Pitcher
Nickerson's velocity finally began to rebound after a heavy collegiate workload, and his success on the mound followed suit. A bulldog on the mound, Jonah has the tenacity to win in any environment. His stuff grades out as average, but it plays up because of the intangibles he brings to the field every day.

23. Brent Clevlen – Outfield
Clevlen's stock continues to fall, only a few years after being one of the organization's top position prospects. Despite a strong cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2006, Clevlen struggled mightily at Toledo this season, while also battling nagging injuries. He still possesses the tools that made him such a highly thought of prospect, but his poor performance is beginning to overshadow the underlying talent.

22. Duane Below – Left-handed Pitcher
A local product from Lake Michigan Community College, Below burst on the scene at West Michigan in 2007. While leading the league in strikeouts, Below was named the TigsTown.com Organizational Pitcher of the Year. With an average fastball, solid command, and a couple of promising off-speed pitches, Below should see his success continue at Lakeland in 2008.

21. Wilkin Ramirez – Outfielder
Many parts of Wilkin's game began to come together in 2007. A move to the outfield – where Ramirez made huge strides very quickly – allowed him to relax during games and become more comfortable at the plate. Ramirez still has true five-tool potential, and the position switch may reinvigorate his fading prospect status.


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