20. James Skelton – Catcher
The Tigers top catching prospect a year ago, Skelton hasn't slid as much as some players have leapt past him. He still commands the zone extremely well, makes routine contact, and plays sound defense behind the plate. Scouts still question his ultimate offensive ceiling, and his ability to remain behind the plate, but he continues to succeed at each level.
19. Zach Simons – Right-handed Pitcher
A new entrant to the system after the Tigers flipped reliever Jason Grilli to the Colorado Rockies, Simons pitched like a man possessed in the final three months of the Lakeland season. With arm strength and a good slider on his side, Simons is another pitcher with aspirations of reaching Detroit in 2009.
18. Dusty Ryan – Catcher
The emergence of Dusty Ryan has been long awaited by scouts and fans alike, making the 2008 coming out party all the more wonderful. Ryan's immense raw power finally translated to game situations, while he maintained his exceptional defense behind the plate. Ryan is a near lock for the 25-man roster in the spring, and will have a chance to become not just the catcher of the future, but the catcher of the present.
17. Guillermo Moscoso – Right-handed Pitcher
Sidelined by a minor shoulder injury in spring training, Moscoso made up for lost time by dominating at both Lakeland and Erie upon his return. His ability to throw strikes and attacking style have him in position for a spot on the 40-man roster, and likely a look for a relief role in Detroit to start the 2009 season.
16. Scott Sizemore – Second Baseman
With big expectation heading into the season, Sizemore's 2008 campaign can be considered nothing but a disappointment. A wrist injury sidelined him for most of June through the rest of the season, and he will need to come back strong to avoid being lost in the shuffle of second base prospects.
15. Darwin De Leon – Left-handed Pitcher
A big riser, Darwin's numbers at Oneonta don't tell the whole story for 2008. He showed improved stuff across the board, and was making strides in firing more quality strikes toward the end of the season. He will make his full-season debut as a 20-year old in 2009, and he merits a closer eye as he climbs the ladder.
14. Luis Marte – Right-handed Pitcher
It wasn't thought possible, but Luis Marte's early season performance at Lakeland overshadowed the debut of top prospect Rick Porcello. Marte's stuff showed well early in the season before an elbow strain sidelined him for two months after a promotion to Erie. The velocity is just coming back now in the Arizona Fall League, and Marte could be an option in Detroit next year.
13. Francisco Martinez – Third Baseman
The highest rated player not to have played a game in the United States, Martinez's professional debut lived up to the billing given by TigsTown over the last twelve months. Scouts loved his five-tool potential, and his .321/.390/.349 line as a 17-year old is quite exciting.
12. Casey Fien – Right-handed Pitcher
Fans have been clamoring for Fien to get a chance in Detroit since early in the summer, and they are likely to get their wish early next season. Though his command in the strike zone still needs refinement, Casey is a fierce competitor with a good fastball-slider combo that will get outs at the big league level.
11. Brandon Hamilton – Right-handed Pitcher
If Hamilton could display command of his stuff, he would rate much, much higher on this list. Against more advanced hitters at West Michigan, Hamilton struggled to get people to chase his pitches outside the strike zone. He'll get another crack at the Midwest League to start the 2009 season, and any progress in his control, will mean a leap forward in his ranking.