TigsTown Top 50: 20-11

As we continue to count down the Top 50 in the Tigers' organization, we've now reached the top 20. Check inside to see who falls in the 20-11 rankings!

20. James Robbins – First Baseman
Robbins was an over-slot signing from the 2009 draft, as the Tigers had to work to pull his promising bat away from Washington State University. Robbins has a smooth left-handed stroke with good power to the pull side, plenty of offensive projection, and a strong arm as someone who was also a draft prospect as a left-handed pitcher.

19. Gustavo Nunez – Shortstop
Few Tigers prospects saw their stock soar as much throughout 2009 as this dynamic youngster. With game-changing speed, the ability to hit for average, and top notch defense, Nunez has the raw tools to be a big league shortstop. He has to do it against better competition, but if he does, Nunez could shoot towards the Top 10 next year.

18. Ramon Lebron – Right-handed Pitcher
Lebron burst on the scene last year with a blazing fastball. He struggles to control his pitches and he is still learning the art of pitching, but Lebron is an extremely diligent worker, both in physical work and study, and with his power fastball and promising breaking ball, he could be a dominating force as either a starter or reliever.

17. Alfredo Figaro – Right-handed Pitcher
An injured wrist may have hampered Figaro's efforts to impress in the big leagues in 2009, but he should get another chance at some point in 2010. Figaro has the raw stuff to succeed in a variety of roles, but he may fit best on the Tigers roster as a middle reliever and/or swing man.

16. Billy Nowlin – First Baseman
Nowlin is one of the organization's purest hitters, with the ability to square up balls with ease and drive the ball to all fields with authority. With a potent stick that can hit for average and power, and a solid approach at the plate, Nowlin has a chance to cement his status as legitimate prospect bat. Finding a defensive position could be a challenge, but if his bat develops as some believe it may, you'll find a spot on the field for him.

15. Audy Ciriaco – Shortstop
The progress has been slow at times, but Ciriaco has continued to refine his game and develop his abilities over the last several years. There are few players in the system that can match Ciriaco's raw talent and ceiling, and the Tigers recognized that when they added him to the 40-man roster during the off-season; protecting him from the Rule 5 draft. Ciriaco may ultimately move off of shortstop, but his potentially dynamic speed-power combination should play anywhere.

14. Cody Satterwhite – Right-handed Pitcher
For all the talk of Jose Valverde holding down the closer's role until Daniel Schlereth or Ryan Perry is ready, Satterwhite may actually end up being the guy that fills the ninth inning role down the line. The long, lean right-hander has a blazing fastball that can work at 95-96 mph and touch 98 with regularity. If his command comes around and he gains consistency with his breaking ball, Satterwhite could a filthy late inning option.

13. Luke Putkonen – Right-handed Pitcher
Finally healthy in 2010, Putkonen showed the stuff that made him a highly touted third round pick of the Tigers when he came out of North Carolina. Armed with an above-average to plus fastball, a solid breaking ball, and a change-up, Putkonen has the necessary pitches to stick in the rotation, along with the quality to miss bats and get outs. If he can keep his right arm healthy, Luke could top out as a #3 starter down the line.

12. Daniel Fields - Shortstop
The Tigers paid a hefty price to sign this local product away from a commitment to the University of Michigan, and they hope his tools show vividly in 2010. Fields is one of the organization's fastest runners, has solid barrel control, and some very nice untapped raw power. There are looming questions about his ability to remain at shortstop, but he will be given the chance, with third base or the outfield as backup options.

11. Avisail Garcia – Outfielder
Garcia came flying up this list as Midwest League managers were impressed with how he handled himself after being thrust in a tough environment at such a young age. Still just 20-years old, Garcia has power, and ability to make contact, solid-average speed, good defense and a big time arm. That collection of tools makes him one of the Tigers most impressive young prospects, and a name to watch in 2010 and beyond!


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