TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 40-31

The time has once again! Twice a year, TigsTown releases its revised and updated rankings, ranking the top 50 eligible prospects in the organization, starting at 50, and working down to the top prospect. Inside, look to see who fell in the 40 through 31 slots.

40. Will Rhymes – Second Baseman
Rhymes has rebounded from a disastrous 2009 season, to again show that he s a solid minor league hitter that can post robust averages, play some defense, steal some bases, and play hard. He might be an MLB bench player if the right manager falls in love with him and gives him a chance.

39. Ramon Lebron – Right-handed Pitcher
The drop in the rankings for Lebron seems more dramatic than it actually is. The lack of control was the glaring weakness for him at West Michigan, and he will have to throw more strikes – not even quality strikes at first – if he is going to take advantage of his mid-90s fastball.

38. Dixon Machado – Shortstop
He may be small, but Machado has the potential to climb the rankings and become one of the better middle infield prospects in the system. He has a legit plus to plus-plus glove, plus speed, and most scouts think he will hit enough to be an everyday asset.

37. Alex Burgos – Left-handed Pitcher
A recent signing of the Tigers, Burgos gets mixed reviews from scouts that have seen him over the last year. Some scouts see a guy with good pitchability and some projection, and others see a guy with little projection but solid now stuff. Either way, he profiles as a back-end starter in the eyes of most evaluators.

36. Giovanni Soto – Left-handed Pitcher
Soto has been dominant since the second he signed, throwing as many as four pitches for strikes in any count. He understands pitching and the value of changing speeds and locations. His size gives scouts hope that he can add velocity to his fastball; something he must do to project better long term.

35. Zach Simons – Right-handed Pitcher
Simons is the epitome of a late inning relief prospect. He is aggressive on the mound, attacking hitters with his fastball and breaking ball. When he is right, his fastball can work in the low- to mid-90s, and he profiles as a potential setup man in the bullpen.

34. Edwin Gomez – Outfielder
The Tigers didn't waste much time converting last year's fourth round pick from shortstop to the outfield. Though he looked extremely raw in the field this spring, his bat has shown some life. Evaluations on his future projection are all over the map, but it is hard to ignore athletes with his size and makeup.

33. Kody Kaiser – Outfielder
It is never an easy road for small outfielders, as they are typically forced to prove themselves every step of the way, simply because they don't look like the typical prospect. Kaiser has done just that when healthy, as he continues to play good defense, show excellent speed, and hit with surprising pop. He could be a fourth outfielder in the end.

32. Andy Dirks – Outfielder
Earlier this year, one National League scout summed up Dirks quite nicely, saying "He's a big leaguer. He just needs the chance." Dirks has the defense and enough offense to be a useful player on a big league bench, and he could help as soon as mid-2011 if someone opts to give him a chance.

31. Gustavo Nunez – Shortstop
The Tigers billed Nunez as their newest rising star at shortstop before the season began, and he has proceeded to go backwards in every aspect at the plate. His defense is still big league caliber, as he routinely makes highlight reel plays, but the bat may never play. His glove alone could get him a utility job in the end, but he'll have to hit and clear up some makeup concerns before he gets that chance.


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