TigsTown Roundtable: Untouchable Prospects

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: What do you make of Jim Leyland's announcement that Rick Porcello will start 15 more games this season, and that's it

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
There's really two ways to answer a question like this - one based on talent, one based on need. From a need standpoint, I'd be hesitant to deal either Scott Sizemore or Alex Avila. Both are probably within a year of making their Tigers' debut, and play premium defensive positions at which the Tigers are going to have a need opening up at the end of this season. Sizemore and Avila are likely to play an important role in the 2010 version of the Detroit Tigers, and it would take a lot to entice me to be okay with dealing either. On the talent side of it though, while both are good prospects, neither are the elite can't miss type talents. For that level, the only guy I'd be hesitant to trade is Casey Crosby. Crosby is a left-hander that sits in the mid-90's on the gun, has excellent off-speed stuff, and is dominating hitters in A-ball as a 20-year old. Hard to argue with a ceiling and potential like that. Beyond Crosby though, I just don't see anyone that would strike me as a guy I'd struggle to part with.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The short answer here is that there are no -- absolutely zero -- prospects in the organization that are 'untouchable' under any circumstances. There simply isn't the can't miss talent in this organization, that any major heartburn should be carried if any player is dealt. That said, there are certainly a few guys I'd rather keep around, just for the shear curiosity of what they may become down the line. Topping that list are catcher Alex Avila and second baseman Scott Sizemore. Both players have excellent pure hitting abilities, enough power to be above-average for their positions, and enough defensive ability to stick at the high end of the defensive spectrum. Not only that, but there are clear avenues for them to contribute to the Major League team within the next year. Beyond those two players, there is not a player in the organization I would hesitate if told they would need to be included to get a deal done.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I don't think I would call any prospect untouchable, but the trio of players I'd be hesitant to deal would be second baseman Scott Sizemore, catcher Alex Avila and left-hander Casey Crosby. With Placido Polanco headed to free agency after this season, Sizemore could very well be the team's starting second baseman next year, while Avila has handled the jump to Double-A nicely in his first full year with the Tigers, and he profiles as the Tigers' future starter behind the plate. Crosby has made a very nice return from Tommy John surgery, and has shown overpowering stuff at times at West Michigan. Obviously, you have to give up talent to make a deal, but if the Tigers move a package of these three guys, I would suspect they would be getting a high-impact player or two in return (Adam Dunn for example). The Tigers certainly have several areas they need to address, and hopefully they'll be able to do so without sacrificing their top prospects.

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