TigsStats: 2008 Outfielders in Review Part 1

Spring training is now upon us, but before we dive into the 2009 season, it's time to take a position-by-position look at how the Tigers' minor leaguers performed in the stat book last year. Now, we move onto the outfielders that played in full season leagues in '08.

Ed. Notes: To qualify for the analysis players needed a minimum of more than 100 AB's. Also, the player's listed age is his baseball playing age for the 2008 season (age as of June 1, 2008)

Casper Wells - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

517

.261

.282

.338

.513

.251

.120

.222

.769


Everyone clearly heard about Wells's strong season in 2008, but his peripherals just re-emphasize that those numbers weren't just a blip or an illusion. If anything, one could argue that due to his low average on balls in play, he actually could have had a better season. His ISO was the most impressive of the statistics, but his walk rate was still strong, and his strikeout numbers weren't awful.


Joe Tucker - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

438

.269

.305

.300

.352

.082

.053

.144

.400


Joe Tucker was reasonably acceptable, but didn't excel in any category. His average was, well, average, he took the occasional walk, but not many, and he hit for a bit of power, but certainly not a lot. All in all, a season in which he was productive enough to be serviceable, but little more than that.


Kyle Peter - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

396

.263

.329

.352

.295

.033

.144

.202

.778


Peter proved himself to be a very typical speedy outfielder. He swiped bases at a good clip, made decent contact, and took a lot of walks. On the flip side, he hit for virtually no power.


Kody Kaiser - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

392

.260

.341

.336

.436

.176

.115

.291

.833


Kody Kaiser's raw numbers weren't overly impressive, but his peripherals actually provided some encouragement, especially when it comes to power. His ISO was very strong, despite spending so much time in a pitcher-friendly park, and if not for a low average, would have had a strong OPS. The only downside was his strikeout rates, but so long as he keeps walking, it's permissible.


Jordan Newton - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

363

.267

.347

.302

.438

.171

.055

.267

.800


The former catcher has now likely moved to the outfield for good, where he can concentrate more on his work at the plate. Newton hit for impressive power, but still strikes out too often and doesn't walk enough. His power is good, but so long as those numbers continue, he'll likely struggle to move up and hit at higher levels.


Cory Middleton - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

247

.194

.233

.264

.304

.109

.097

.247

.667


Another player that converted to the outfield, Middleton came from third, where his offense floundered, though a big chunk of that was due to plain bad luck. Middleton's .233 average on balls in play is well below the norm, and while he hasn't consistently had a high average on balls he puts in play, that was still down significantly. That being said, Middleton still struck out too much and didn't hit for enough power – two things that must be improved upon if he hopes to continue his baseball career outside the Tigers organization since being released.


Justin Justice - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

622

.249

.315

.314

.412

.162

.098

.268

.278


The toolsy outfielder had a down average, but put together a number of other respectable numbers, including a strong power showing yet again (one exception – his stolen base percentage). Justice has a respectable walk rate, but still strikes out a lot, and his average was down, and can't even be argued due to poor luck. Justice was released by the organization after the season concluded.


Jeremy Laster - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

481

.204

.288

.262

.416

.212

.083

.416

.524


Laster had one of the most mind-boggling seasons in the entire Tigers' organization in 2008 – he pulled a Rob Deer in that he barely kept his batting average above the Mendoza Line, struck out more than 40% of the time, and still managed an ISO above .2, a clear sign that when he makes contact, he really makes contact. Unfortunately, he'll need to do it far more often to make it worthwhile.


Brennan Boesch - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

417

.249

.303

.306

.379

.129

.086

.216

.375


Boesch's season, while not a disappointment, certainly wasn't what the Tigers were hoping for when they grabbed him in the third round back in 2006. Boesch's average still wasn't great, nor was his power for a corner outfielder. Boesch took the occasional walk, but it certainly wasn't a strength, which basically leaves Boesch acceptable, but not where the Tigers hoped he would be.


Brandon Timm - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

314

.239

.329

.316

.325

.086

.115

.299

.706


Timm's work at the plate was highlighted mostly by his strong walk rate, and without any other strong indicators to point to, it's likely a reason why the Tigers were planning on trying Timm out on the mound this spring (that is, until he elected to retire rather than continue his baseball career on the mound).


Freddy Guzman - Age: 27

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

518

.272

.298

.333

.394

.122

.098

.108

.866


The speedy veteran, Guzman is a terror on the base paths, and effective as well, as evidenced by his excellent stolen base percentage. Guzman also walks almost as much as he strikes out, though one would hope for better than a .333 on base average from a leadoff hitter. Guzman is exactly what the Tigers were expecting though – a veteran that can anchor the top of the lineup. Guzman will likely fill a similar role in 2009 with the Seattle organization.


Deik Scram - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

482

.253

.319

.328

.400

.147

.118

.263

.824


Scram was a player that was expected to struggle as he moved up the organizational ladder, but with the exception of a dipped batting average, Scram continued to hold his own. Scram hit for some power, took a walk, and continued to be effective swiping bases. A kick up in the average, and it would have been a great year for Scram. As it is, it was still a strong showing.


Wilkin Ramirez - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

469

.286

.382

.346

.490

.205

.094

.318

.667


Wilkin Ramirez had a season that warranted his inclusion among the top five prospects in the organization, and the top 100 prospects in all of baseball according to Scout.com. Ramirez however wasn't perfect. While his power was outstanding, his batting average might have had some luck to it, his walk rates are good but not great, and he still strikes out a ton. That being said, Ramirez had a great year, and there is plenty of reason for optimism for his future.


Jeff Frazier - Age: 25

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

446

.303

.332

.346

.397

.094

.070

.114

.500


The once highly-regarded Tigers' prospect has come back down, and is establishing himself as a minor league veteran that can hit for a solid average. Frazier remains a consistent threat at the plate, but will never be the power threat it was envisioned he would be, and he'll likely remain in that role for the foreseeable future and develop into a reliable minor league veteran.


Brent Clevlen - Age: 24

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AAA

Toledo

476

.279

.385

.351

.496

.216

.113

.349

.778


Clevlen's numbers in many ways mirrored those of Wilkin Ramirez, with a similar inflated batting average, a solid walk rate, lots of strikeouts and plenty of power. Clevlen of course had the benefit of being older for the league and also multiple years of experience in Triple-A, so they're not on an even playing field, but in many ways, Clevlen's performance should be taken with encouragement.


Timo Perez - Age: 31

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AAA

Toledo

427

.302

.313

.369

.473

.171

.112

.101

.760


The veteran was brought in to provide an experienced presence in Toledo, and a potential call-up option for the big league club, should the need arise. In many ways, Timo exceeded expectations, likely proving himself to be simply too good to be an everyday Triple-A player. Unfortunately, he's stumbled previously in big league opportunities, leaving him tagged with the dreaded 4-A player tag.


Clete Thomas - Age: 24

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AAA

Toledo

291

.247

.325

.331

.416

.168

.127

.302

.725


Clete made a big impression early on when he went north with the Tigers, subbing in for Curtis Granderson and holding his own in centerfield. When back down in Toledo, Clete actually showed a different side – a player less focused on hitting for average and more on power. The Tigers hope Clete can eventually be a player that does all, hits for average while taking walks and hitting for some power.



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