Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
While the Arizona Fall League has always been led by hitters, it's hard to not take notice of Scott Sizemore's impressive fall showing. Not only did Sizemore post a very good average and on base percentage, he hit the cover off the ball power-wise, leading Peoria in extra base hits and RBI, and finishing third in the entire league in OPS. The 22-year old second baseman had a solid but unspectacular season for West Michigan, but after excelling in Arizona, some are likely to write off his offensive '07 dip and credit it to the spacious park he played in. Sizemore can how hopefully carry that success into the spring and become a legit up-the-middle prospect for the team.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
It's only been based on a limited sample, but I've been generally impressed with the way Noah Krol has handled himself in the American Southwest. He certainly struggled early on, but has settled in nicely and has become a strikeout machine in his recent outings. For a player just drafted in June to step into an unexpected role such as heading off to the AFL, Krol has performed admirably. The results he has generated are a testament to his focused minset that should help him become a solid bullpen arm at the big league level. With a performance like this, don't be surprised if Krol is challenged in the spring, and given an opportunity to start the season at Lakeland.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Although Scott Sizemore has been terrific since his late inclusion, I'm going to go with Burke Badenhop, who was 2-1 with a sparkling 2.08 ERA in eight games, before a tough outing on Monday inflated his ERA to 3.45. His control has been terrific, as he walked only two batters to go with 11 strikeouts in his first 13 innings. His numbers in the AFL come after a solid regular season, where he had 2.92 ERA between Lakeland and Erie. He may not light up radar guns with his stuff, but all he does is get guys out, and he doesn't beat himself with walks (just 37 in 154 innings this year). Badenhop also started a good trend the Tigers have had in the David Chadd era with regards to solid senior signs in the mid-rounds of the draft. Chris Cody (later traded) and Brett Jensen followed in 2006, and AFL teammate Noah Krol was signed this past summer. By performing well here, he has perhaps opened more eyes in the organization, and could become a piece to the future puzzle, either with the Tigers, or as potential trade bait.
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!