10. Luis Marte - Right-handed Pitcher
Marte got off to a blazing start in Lakeland this season, then was solid in two starts at Erie, before going down with elbow problems. If his issues result in surgery, he'll take a hit in the rankings this fall, but his raw stuff warrants significant attention.
9. Casey Crosby - Left-handed Pitcher
Despite off-season Tommy John surgery, Crosby still rates as one of the Tigers better pitching prospects. With a fastball that can get to the mid-90s and a breaking ball that has shown plus potential, the young lefty has the raw stuff to scare people.
8. Danny Worth - Shortstop
The Tigers continued to aggressively challenge Worth, after pushing him to Double-A before the end of his first pro season in 2007. At Erie this year, Worth has held his own, but not stood out in any capactiy. He is a brilliant defender with some offensive skills, and he should be a solid backup option at an absolute minimum.
7. Virgil Vasquez - Right-handed Pitcher
Vasquez didn't get off to the best of starts in 2008, but he's come on of late, showing the stuff that earned him a big league trial last season. With solid stuff across the board and some good pitching intelligence, he could become a solid back end starter.
6. Cale Iorg - Shortstop
Iorg has possibly the highest ceiling of any position player in the organization. With above-average tools everywhere you look, Cale has rebounded well from his two-year absence, and he looks poised to break out over the next twelve months. If things click for Iorg, the Tigers could have themselves an All-Star shortstop.
5. Matt Joyce - Outfielder
The Tigers have received an unexpected contribution from several prospects this season, including five home runs from Joyce. Matt has exceptional defensive skills in the outfield, and an arm that generates plenty of carry. He also has above-average power from the left side and an ability to control the strike zone.
4. Michael Hollimon - Second Baseman
Hollimon has show through the Tigers system, producing at the plate at every stop along the way. Mike has good pop from both sides of the dish, an ability to draw walks, above-average speed, and the ability to play solid defense at several positions. Profiling as a second baseman in the long term, Hollimon could be ready to take over for Placido Polanco at some point.
3. Brandon Hamilton - Right-handed Pitcher
Although Hamilton was sent back to the GCL to get his control straightened out, he still profiles as one of the Tigers better pitching prospects. He has a fastball that consistently works in the 92-93 range, but can get to 95 on occasion, and a breaking ball that sometimes flashes as a plus pitch. If he can't get his command in order, he still has a chance to develop as a top of the line closer.
2. Jeff Larish - First Baseman
Larish didn't show his stuff in the big leagues, but he is still the system's top power prospect. With amazing power to all fields, a brilliant view of the strike zone, and above-average defense at first, Larish has all the tools to be a quality big league first baseman. Look for him to continue getting chances in Detroit, and eventually, his power and patience should keep him in the Majors.
1. Rick Porcello - Right-handed Pitcher
No doubt the top prospect in the organization, Porcello has true ace potential. He has held his own in High-A as a teenager thanks to a low-90s fastball with tremendous sink, two breaking balls, and a top notch change-up. His command is close to being above-average, and his poise is off the charts. With just a bit more polish, Porcello could be ready for the big leagues very soon.