10. James Skelton - Catcher
Skelton emerged as far and away the top catching prospect in the system in 2007, and will look to further cement himself in that slot in 2008. With strong defensive skills, burgeoning leadership abilities, and a discerning eye at the plate, Skelton is quickly becoming one to watch behind the dish.
9. Casey Crosby - Left-handed Pitcher
The Tigers landed Crosby – a consensus supplemental round choice – in the fifth round due to concerns over his signability. While he didn't sign until right before the August 15th deadline, the Tigers reportedly had the outline of a deal in place almost immediately. Crosby has an extremely high ceiling, and could become a frontline lefty starter in time.
8. Eulogio de la Cruz - Right-handed Pitcher
‘Frankie' finally made his Major League debut in 2007, and there should be more of that in his future during the coming seasons. He has dialed back on his fastball to gain more control, while also adding some sink and keeping it in the 92-95 range routinely. He can still reach back for 97-98 when needed. His curveball has made strides and is a true plus-pitch at this time.
7. Danny Worth - Shortstop
The Tigers second-round pick out of Pepperdine, Worth has big league shortstop written all over him. With exceptional instincts and actions in the field, and a lightning arm from anywhere on the infield, Worth is an elite defender with Gold Glove potential. His bat will play at the big league level, but there are concerns over his power potential. Worth is likely to be the first player from the Tigers vaunted '07 draft class to reach the Majors.
6. Virgil Vasquez - Right-handed Pitcher
Vasquez had some rocky moments at the Major League level this season, but he demonstrated that he is able to compete and should be successful in time. He doesn't have overwhelming raw stuff, but he gets the most out of it, and can dominate opposing batters when he keeps his off-speed pitches down in the zone.
5. Dallas Trahern - Right-handed Pitcher
Currently pitching for Team USA, Trahern has made a steady climb up the TigsTown rankings. The owner of a low-90s sinker that induces plenty of groundballs, and a nice slider-change combo to support it, Trahern has proven to be a work horse during his minor league career. Still at least a year away, Trahern should compete for a spot in Detroit sometime in 2009.
4. Michael Hollimon - Second Base
Working with Trahern for Team USA, Hollimon is expanding his horizons by playing new positions. The added versatility could aid in landing him a big league job at some point in 2008. A shortstop through last year, he played second base for much of 2007, and has played third and left field with the National Team. Hollimon's stick could carry at either middle infield slot, and his baseball acumen should allow him to play anywhere defensively.
3. Jeff Larish - First Base
The premier power hitter in the organization, Larish can pound balls with great regularity. He can get pull happy at times, but when he is relaxed in the box he has exceptional power from pole to pole. He has begun to sellout for power in recent seasons, but once he settles into a groove, he could hit for a bit more average. Larish is a good defender at first with a strong arm, and should be a big league first baseman for an extended stretch, possibly as soon as late 2008.
2. Rick Porcello – Right-handed Pitcher
One of the most highly regarded high school pitchers of the last decade; Porcello has some lofty expectations to fulfill. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and his smooth, easy mechanics can be deceiving as the ball explodes upon batters. With maturity and poise beyond his years, Rick is an excellent candidate to move quickly through the Tigers system, and he could see Lakeland at some point in 2008.
1. Cameron Maybin - Outfielder
One of the elite prospects in all of baseball, Maybin has every tool imaginable. He has plus speed, plus raw power, the ability to hit for average, plus defensive skills, and a rocket arm. He may not have flashed those tools regularly while in Detroit, but given time, Cameron should be a star with the Tigers. The great ones don't stay down long, so expect to see Maybin back before the end of 2008.