Blog Entries posted by cruzer1
Sorry for borrowing a title to a very good blog, I just have a few thoughts of my own right now. I think the Tigers are at a critical stage of the season, where they must figure out if they should be legitimate contenders, or if they are pretenders. They have some pieces available in the farm system that I think would have more value to the Tigers as players, than they would garner in a trade. Take Scott Sizemore, for example. Generally he's not regarded as a top 100 type of prospect, but he can be a solid offensive 2nd basemen with some pop and great on base skills. Teams wouldn't line up for Alex Aliva like they would for Buster Posey, but despite not being thought about so highly, he's probably a similar type; although clearly not as polished with his receiving skills. The point is that the Tigers prospects are flying way under the radar right now, including such pitcher prospects as Zach Simons, Cody Satterwhite, Luis Marte, and Casey Fien. They don't have the big names that others do in other systems that get more hype, but this can also play to the Tigers advantage. They won't have to overpay for a free agent 2nd baseman when they have a better player available to them. They don't have to go out and get an offensive catcher, when they have Avila available. I hope the Tigers stand pat, because they could be a much better club in a couple of years.
I really like Adam Weber as a quarterback, he's got some tools and could be an NFL prospect. He's got a nice arm, and is pretty accurate. Minnesota has improved their roster so much over the past two years, they should be in the 2nd tier, with bowl eligibility an expectation, not just a goal. They've got a nice sprinkling of NFL caliber talent, with WR Eric Decker (who runs really good routes), DE Willie Van Der Steeg, LB Deon Hightower, and RB's Duane Bennett and Deleon Eskridge. The Gophers have the 6th toughest schedule in the nation, and they definitely have the toughest in conference schedule. Tim Brewster is a terrific coach, and this team is on the rise. Prediction- 8-4
Date Opponent Location Time (CST) Results Media
Sat, Sep 05 Syracuse at Syracuse, N.Y. TBA
Sat, Sep 12 Air Force TCF Bank Stadium 6:00 PM
Big Ten Network
Sat, Sep 19 California TCF Bank Stadium TBA
Sat, Sep 26 Northwestern * at Evanston, Ill. TBA
Sat, Oct 03 Wisconsin * TCF Bank Stadium TBA
Sat, Oct 10 Purdue (Homecoming) * TCF Bank Stadium 11:00 AM
Sat, Oct 17 Penn State * at University Park, Pa. 2:30 PM
Sat, Oct 24 Ohio State * at Columbus, Ohio 11:00 AM
Sat, Oct 31 Michigan State * TCF Bank Stadium 7:00 PM
Big Ten Network
Sat, Nov 07 Illinois * TCF Bank Stadium TBA
Sat, Nov 14 South Dakota State TCF Bank Stadium TBA
Sat, Nov 21 Iowa * at Iowa City, Iowa TBA
* Conference Games
It's early day two of the MLB draft, and I'm wondering if the Tigers will ever go outside their little scouting circle and select position players outside of their little box. For example, the Indians hitters all look the same when they move up the chain; they usually have nice short choppy swings, and have a great deal of power hitters available. The Twins are similar, in that their system is loaded with super athletes who hit for a high average, and play ball to their organizational philosophy. I'm not getting that from the Tigers. The Jeff Larish I see now is the exact player I saw play for Arizona State. He has not changed, his all-or-nothing approach is the same he had back then. There has been no development. He's not a full time player in my view, and forever will be blocked in Detroit since his best position is first base. Scott Sizemore is a very good player, who's also seemingly blocked by Polanco at 2nd. This can be remedied easily, since Sizemore is proving he can mash a little bit for a 2nd baseman, but voila! He's got some issues defensively, making any changes to him a little bit of a risk. Short stop is a position where the Tigers seem very happy with a .200 hitter in AA, and they aren't in the running for a strong pack of young SS's who will be able to sign from the Dominican July 2nd. They're getting beat to the punch by the Pittsburgh Freaking Pirates? C'mon. And while I'm at it, the outfield is also quite the mish-mash right now. One player who stands out a bit, but has had a great deal of question marks is Wilkin Ramirez. Another player who has had injury issues is Casper Wells, who just returned and hit a HR in his return back. Wilkin could very well be another Brent Clevlen, a guy with so much talent, but is missing that one thing that the organization must figure out how to develop. The development of the Tigers organization needs to improve, for the Tigers to be more efficient. They can't afford to live on free agency, and paying top dollar in the draft, when they are failing to develop their talent correctly.
Which brings me to pitching. They now officially have 1,000 relievers in their system. Why have a single draft where the one goal of the draft is to build the bullpen? And instead of developing the drafted talent, pushing the talent straight to the majors before that player has command? End of rant.
My rules, going by rookie qualifications, which means that Perry and Porcello are not eligible for this list. Performance/league age and previous scouting reports from various resources are some of the criteria I use.
1. Casey Crosby, LHP WMi
2. Wilkin Ramirez, OF, Toledo
3. Scott Sizemore, 2b Erie
4. Cody Satterwhite, RHP Erie
5. Alfredo Figaro, RHP Erie
6. Brett Jacobson, RHP, Lakeland
7. Alex Avila, C Erie
8. Luis Marte, RHP Erie
9. Cale Iorg, SS Erie
10. Ryan Strieby, 1b Erie
11. Casper Wells, OF Erie
12. Mauricio Robles, LHP WMi
13. Avisail Garcia, OF WMi
14. Robbie Weinhardt, RHP Lakeland
15. Scott Green, RHP Lakeland
16. Francisco Martinez, 3b GCL Tigers
17. Dusty Ryan, C Toledo
18. Casey Fien, RHP Toledo
19. Zach Simons, RHP Erie
20. Audy Ciriaco, SS Erie
21. Luke Putkonen, RHP WMi
22. Jared Gayhart, RHP WMi
23. Steven Moya, OF DSL
24. Charlie Furbush, LHP Lakeland
25. Alexis Espinoza, OF GCL Tigers
26. Fu-Te Ni, LHP Toledo
27. Billy Nowlin, 1b WMi
28. Gustavo Nunez, SS WMi
29. Brandon Hamilton, RHP WMi
30. Brennan Boesch, OF Erie
1. Competitiveness. How are they competing? They might have a difficult schedule, but I want to see how they compete against the Pittsburghs of the world.
2. Scheme. Last year's defensive schemes were horrible. One gap? Those were huge gaps everywhere. So many long runs where the RB went untouched, made it difficult for the Lions to compete.
3. Matt Stafford's development. This is the most important aspect for the Lions, but they need to compete first. Daunte Culpepper should not matter to the coaching staff, the onus must be on developing Stafford correctly. It will be tough to know just when he's ready, but they also cannot afford to wait too long. He has to be just right, and once he goes in, it must be for good. Don't play around.
4. Development of young defensive players. It is a must that the Lions get value out of the young players in their defensive line, if they're going to compete. Grady Jackson might be suspended, and can only play 15-20 snaps, so the rest of the DT snaps must go to young players other than Chuck Darby. Andre Fluellen has a chance to shine here, as well as Leonard Cohen. They need to provide a solid push that didn't happen last year, but that was a different scheme. Avril must continue to develop as a pass rusher, and it sounds like he'll have that chance. Alama-Francis needs to step up and be productive, because the Lions need to move ahead from Jared DeVries. They need to develop their young linebackers, such as Levy and Dizon, and get value from them. Corner is an extremely important position, since only one corner (Buchanon) has more than one year remaining on his deal.
5. Running Game. They have run well in the past few years, only because they weren't dedicated to the running game, and they threw the ball too often. The average/attempt was ok, but there were far too few attempts. They need to commit to the run, and must develop a running back committee. It's tough to keep running backs healthy for 16 weeks, so it's important they have a nice three man rotation going. It's possible their #3 running back will be Jerome Felton, as he's more of a tweener type than a real FB. He can bang in short yardage situations, and if either Aaron Brown or Antwone Smith show they can block enough to pick up blitzes, then they could very well be used also. I love Kevin Smth, but he and every NFL running back needs help.
With the help of Netrat's excellent page on the Lions contract situation, looking at the Lions free agent situation going into 2010, and the Lions surprisingly have most of their starters under contract for 2010, with just a few (Culpepper, Foote, Raiola, Loper, and Henry) exceptions. The Lions have already expressed interest in resigning Raiola, and will probably look at Loper hard as a long-term contract also. Culpepper and Foote could very well be temporary fill-ins while waiting for rookies at both spots, and the Lions will definitely need to hit the cornerback spot hard in the next off-season. What Netrat is missing from his spreadsheet is ages, and that would help guage what the plans are.
In retrospect, I haven't done a great job in keeping up with my blog on blogspot.com, mostly since it's a pain in the butt to log in there. I'm on this site much more often anyways, and it seems like a more convenient place to express myself; whether it be on the Lions or the Tigers, and other things in between. I would like to thank Yoda, who helped me set up blogs in the past, and I'm sorry I wasn't able to meet expectetations. Hopefully I can here.