20. Jon Kibler – Left-handed Pitcher
It was a rough start to the year for TigsTown's reigning West Michigan Pitcher of the Year, but Kibler has begun to right the ship after jumping all the way to Double-A Erie. He still has some quality stuff, and some funk to his delivery, which continues to give him a chance to be a back of the rotation starter.
19. Charlie Furbush – Left-handed Pitcher
As expected, there have been some bumps along the way for Furbush as he returns from Tommy John surgery, but by all accounts he has thrown well and is simply trying to refine his command. There's still a slim shot at a #2 here, and a decent shot at a solid #3 starter.
18. Luke French – Left-handed Pitcher
We saw it briefly in spring training, but Luke French has made a transformation as a pitcher. After looking like a solid inning eater for several seasons, he has transformed into a legit MLB rotation option. With an uptick in his velocity, and increased maturity on the mound, French could be in Detroit to stay.
17. Casper Wells - Outfielder
A broken hamate bone in his wrist has slowed the continuation of his 2008 breakout campaign, but Casper Wells is still flashing tremendous power, good defensive abilities, and a strong arm. If he gets hot again, and the Tigers are still looking for offense late in the year, don't be shocked if he gets a shot in Detroit.
16. Brooks Brown – Right-handed Pitcher
Since coming over in exchange for James Skelton at the end of spring training, Brown has pitched well at two levels. Despite some rough numbers at Toledo, opposing managers have been impressed, and he remains a viable big league option down the road with his groundball tendencies and aggressive mentality.
15. Luis Marte – Right-handed Pitcher
Marte has quietly put together a solid season for Erie, working past some arm issues late last year and some other minor injuries this spring. He still has the hard fastball and good curveball necessary to get outs, but questions persist about his durability in the rotation.
14. Brett Jacobson – Right-handed Pitcher
Pushed to Lakeland for his first full season of professional baseball, Jacobson has generally been a solid setup man for the Flying Tigers. His fastball isn't quite as hard as it was late last summer, but he's still touching 94, and he only has to refine his command within the zone to start making noises at more advanced levels.
13. Casey Fien – Right-handed Pitcher
For the second year in a row, there was quite a bit of noise surrounding Fien during spring training, only to see him head to the minor leagues to continue working on his game. Fien has had some rough patches with Toledo this season, but it is only a matter of time before he takes his fastball-slider combo to Detroit to help an ailing bullpen.
12. Mauricio Robles – Left-handed Pitcher
Robles was a surprise returnee to West Michigan, but that didn't last long as he dominated the Midwest League into June before earning a promotion to Lakeland. Lefties with his velocity are hard to come by, and if they learn command and a quality secondary pitch, they can be flat out deadly. Robles is on the verge of doing just that.
11. Francisco Martinez – Third Baseman
There has been little to discuss with Martinez's stateside debut, as it is just a few weeks old, but scouts and observers still rave about the talent he has flashed in workouts and throughout extended spring training. He still has the speed, arm strength, raw defensive ability, ability to hit for average, command of the strike zone, and power potential to be a premium guy. That folks, is a very, very full tool box.