Bonus Tigers Prospects: Nos. 21-25
The purpose of any farm system is to help the big league club win. Tigers GM David Dombrowski understands this and won’t hesitate to deal prospects for veterans, because Major League victories matter more than organization talent rankings.
Dombrowski was at it again in July, giving up right-handers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel to get Joakim Soria from the Rangers and sacrificing shortstop Willy Adames as part of the package to pry David Price from the Rays. There are various evaluators inside and outside of the Detroit organization who thought Thompson was the system’s best prospect, and others who believed the same about Adames.
Those trades thinned out the Tigers system, but that doesn’t stop us from filling out Detroit’s Top 20 Prospects as part of MLBPipeline.com’s Prospect Watch. And I’ll continue my series of listing bonus prospects for the organizations I wrote up with Tigers Nos. 21-25 below.
21. Daniel Fields, of. Signed for $1.625 million as a sixth-rounder in 2009, he got rushed early in his pro career but seemed to find his footing in Double-A last year. Fields is struggling to hit again in 2014, however, and having his right hand broken by a pitch in May hasn’t helped. He doesn’t have a standout tool but he does have good instincts and could find a big league role as a fourth outfielder.
22. Casey Crosby, lhp. Another above-slot signing in the middle rounds, he landed $748,500 as a fifth-rounder in 2007 and has battled health issues ever since. Crosby had Tommy John surgery in 2008, numerous elbow and shoulder woes since then, and hasn’t pitched since mid-May because of a shoulder impingement. His sinking fastball that reaches 96 mph and his hard curveball could make him a late-inning relief weapon — if he can stay on the mound.
23. Chad Green, rhp. One of several interesting college pitchers taken by the Tigers in the 2013 Draft, he was a steal in the 11th round out of Louisville. Green does a nice job commanding and pitching off his 90-94 mph fastball, and the development of his slider and changeup will determine if he stays in the rotation as he advances.
24. Josh Turley, lhp. Another late-round college arm, he has advanced quickly to Double-A since Detroit made him a 16th-rounder out of Baylor in 2012. Turley is a pitchability lefty whose best pitch is a changeup that helps his 86-88 mph fastball play up.
25. Dominic Ficociello, 1b. A 12th-round pick last June after an uneven college career at Arkansas, he’s having a solid first full pro season in low Class A. A 6-foot-4, 205-pound switch-hitter, Ficociello will have to learn to tap into his power potential and to handle offspeed stuff as he advances.
Newcomer To Watch: Adam Ravenelle, rhp. A fourth-round pick in June, he saved the College World Series clincher for Vanderbilt. At his best, Ravenelle attacks hitters with a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider, and he could move fast.