TigsTown Scouting MLN: Tools and Projection

As recently reported by TigsTown's Managing Editor Mark Anderson, the Tigers have inked four more Latin American prospects. Check inside for the detailed scouting reports and what we might expect from them in 2009!

Aldo Navia – Outfielder
Though already 19-years old, don't underestimate what Navia brings to the table. He is an incredibly raw outfielder that has a ton of tools and crude projection to him. At various times, Aldo has flashed above-average raw power to all fields with wiry strength and good bat speed. He shows a good hit tool but must work on his pitch recognition and it may take time for him to develop an ability to lay off pitches outside the strike zone. His speed is above-average and he both gets up to speed quickly and is fast while underway. Defensively, there is a lot more to learn, but he has the speed to be an exceptional defender once he learns the angles and refines his instincts. Rounding out the tool box, his arm plays as well above-average with good accuracy and carry on his throws. It's not going to happen quickly, if at all, but Navia has the raw potential to turn into a nice player.

Jesus Alvarado – Outfielder
Alvarado lacks strength and refinement, but that is to be expected in a player that just turned 17 late last year. His raw strength at that age is promising, and he generates enough bat speed now that he has some projection for above-average power down the line. Jesus has shown an ability to make consistent contact on a variety of pitches, and he has shown an aptitude for continuing to develop his concept of the strike zone. He has arm strength and defensive ability, both of which are expected to improve as he gains strength and maturity. Though only an average runner at this time, there is some optimism that he could gain a tick as his legs build strength and he refines his running style.

Ramon Franco – Pitcher
Another 17-year old, Franco brings an excellent pitchers frame to the table and a long, loose arm action that has had scouts drooling. He has good velocity at this early stage, touching 90-91 on occasion with some late life and an ability to throw strikes. His frame and the potential for additional growth leave plenty of protection on his fastball as he ages. His curveball has shown as a positive pitch, though it will require increased consistency to become a truly reliable second offering. As expected with a player of his youth, Franco is still toying with a change-up, though he has shown he can keep his arm speed up and must simply work on controlling the pitch and working it into his arsenal.

Eugenio Suarez – Shortstop
As you may expect given his small stature (5-11, 155 pounds), Suarez is a slap hitter that can work the ball from line to line, and get down the line with above-average speed. Suarez can make contact on pitches throughout the zone, but is prone to chasing breaking pitches away; particularly when hitting from the left side. The quick shortstop has good hands that enable him to make most routine plays easily. He has shown good range and solid instincts for a young player. His arm is average and may play up as he adds strength, and despite unrefined footwork, he has a knack for completing accurate throws. He may profile better at second base long term, but he has the raw tools to succeed at shortstop if he can grow into the position a little more.

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