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2018 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: Top Ten

ByMARK ANDERSON Jul 27, 8:37 AM

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Casey Mize (Photo: Dakota Sumpter/Auburn Athletics)

 

The midseason top ten is here, and there's a new top prospect in the organization in this summer's first overall pick Casey Mize. See who comes in behind him and make up the rest of the top ten.

For the rest of the 2018 Midseason Top 50, go here:

50-41: 2018 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 50-41

40-31: 2018 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 40-31

30-21: 2018 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 30-21

20-11: 2018 TigsTown Midseason Top 50: 20-11

10. Parker Meadows (OF)

Meadows joined the Tigers as a second round pick in June, signing for $2.5 million just before the signing deadline. The younger brother of Pirates prospect Austin Meadows, Parker owns his wealth of intriguing tools, including plus speed, plus raw, and an above-average to plus arm. His glove plays well in center field and he has an opportunity to stick at the position long term. The only thing missing is certainty with his hit tool, which by most accounts is raw and may never catch up to the rest of his talent. Without an adequate hit tool, Meadows will struggle to carve out a role as an everyday player, but if he can approach average, he could have an impact as an up the middle glove with supporting tools.  

9. Kyle Funkhouser (RHP)

We were pretty skeptical of Funkhouser entering the year after he was shutdown with elbow soreness late last year, and while some of that skepticism remains, he performed well while showing quality stuff at Erie prior to his recent promotion to Toledo. At his best, Funkhouser has a low-90s fastball that reaches as high as 96 mph with some life, and his above-average slider is a second go-to pitch that he relies on heavily. Both his slow curveball and changeup lag behind his two primary offerings. Command and control can be an issue for Funkhouser at times, particularly as he has begun to face more advanced hitters that won’t be enticed as he attempts to nibble around the edges. All told, assuming his elbow issues are a thing of the past, Funkhouser profiles as a workhorse number four starter or potential late inning reliever.

8. Christin Stewart (OF)

Stewart came out of the gates blazing this year before he hit the shelf with a calf injury in June. While its easy to draw the line in the sand and say his struggles began when he was hurt, Stewart actually saw his performance begin sliding a few weeks earlier. Since mid-June, Stewart has hit just .168/.274/.356, including three games in the GCL on rehab. There’s certainly power in his bat and he’s been able to sustain his walk rate against advanced arms, but the concerns over his ability to catch good velocity and make consistent contact are very real. Combined with the fact that he’s a DH in waiting, and Stewart will have to maximize his offensive profile to have any chance at a length career as an everyday player. More likely, Stewart carves out a niche as a second division left fielder/designated hitter or bench bat with some thump.

7. Isaac Paredes (INF)

Just promoted to Double-A as a 19-year old, Paredes has only posted a .400/.500/.600 line through his first seven games, and no, that’s not a typo! A natural hitter with very good bat speed and a surprising approach for his age, Paredes has a chance to develop into an above-average hitter with above-average power down the line. He likely moves off shortstop permanently in the near future, with his new home to be determined, but likely either side of the six. He has the hands and arm strength to perform at either second or third base, with his physical development likely the largest factor in where he lands. Paredes has drawn some scrutiny for his effort and makeup, though most that are intimately familiar with him chalk it up to age and believe he will outgrow any current concerns. Paredes has the tools to be the best prospect in the system and could be a fixture in Detroit for years to come.

6. Daz Cameron (OF)

Given $4 million as a supplemental first round pick of the Astros in 2015, Cameron’s development has been slow and steady. He’s taken time to master each level and then progressed from there, at least until his most recent promotion to Double-A where he began blitzing Eastern League pitchers the minute he arrived. Cameron offers excellent athleticism and good bloodlines (son of center fielder Mike Cameron) to go along with an array of solid tools. While nothing stands out in his tool set, Cameron shows average to above-average tools across the board, most of which play up due to exceptional instincts. The sum of Cameron’s parts is far more impressive than the individual tools, and at the end of the day, he looks like a solid regular in center field.

5. Matt Manning (RHP)

The Tigers top pick in 2016, Manning’s development has been typical of most long-limbed athletes that hadn’t previously focused on baseball. At his best, Manning can show a 93-95 mph fastball with steep angle and good life, complimented by a potential plus curveball with tight rotation and a hard, biting finish. Manning’s control and changeup are both a work in progress, and while they will flash at times, neither looks to be an asset any time soon. Manning is capable of missing plenty of bats and some scouts believe there could be additional velocity in his future. With minimal control or changeup development, Manning would have an easy projection to a high leverage relief role. If either or both step forward, he has the potential to stick in the rotation and become an impact starter.

4. Beau Burrows (RHP)

Burrows has found more success in Double-A this season than he did in 15 starts last year, thanks in large part to better use of his lively mid-90s fastball to generate weak contact low in the zone. There’s been some progress with his curveball, but it still only flashes as a solid-average pitch and frequently dips to below-average. Both his slider and changeup are under development, as is the command of his entire arsenal. Burrows needs one of his secondary pitches to step forward to enable him to miss bats more consistently as he moves to Triple-A, and eventually the big leagues. In the absence of that progress, Burrows looks more like a late inning reliever than he does an inning-eating number four starter.

https://247sports.com/mlb/tigers/Article/Detroit-Tigers-Top-Prospects-2018-TigsTown-Midseason-Top-50-Top-Ten-Casey-Mize-Franklin-Perez-Alex-Faedo-Beau-Burrows-Matt-Manning-Daz-Cameron-Isaac-Paredes-Christin-Stewart-K-120129809/

I'm not saying that isn't where he ends up but to me I think that is almost a worst case scenario.    Also there are a number of evaluators that still think Faedo is a number 2 or number 3 but you completely written him off. 

edit: And BTW in no way am I saying Mark is wrong or that I think I know more than he does.  Not in a million years would I know more, I just disagree with him about this based on my 6 or 7 times seeing Burrows.  

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11 minutes ago, Buddha said:

he's been hurt twice now.  thats not a good sign.

that said, he still has a higher ceiling than burrows or faedo.  i havent lost all hope for him.

It's the same injury in the same year.

It be different if it was a knee and elbow. But it's all related to the lat thing

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3 hours ago, Buddha said:

someone thinks that fulmer will be traded if he ever bounces back.  and if he doesnt bounce back, he's a #3 starter who doesnt strike enough people out.

I remember back when this was the write-up on Porcello.  Sans injury concerns, of course.

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15 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Maybe that top shot is misleading, but it also makes him look like he's almost sitting going into his delivery. Seems to me you are not going to get as much advantage from gravity as you move down the mount if you start with your asz that low.

In any case, my bigger issue on whether the Tigers have actually developed a scientific approach in genreal or not is whether they had gotten HiRes studies of what he looked like when he was throwing harder.  That Freep article Shelton linked makes it sound like they are maybe, kinda, getting started at this, but they need to have that for every pitcher and hitter in the system as reference data before stuff goes wrong.

I took these shots in the first row, just to the left of HP, so keep that in mind with the pics for POV.  I'm glad the organization is interested in Faedo's mechanics right now, because I know I am as well.  Something else that worries me:

DSC01304_DxO

Should we be worried about that elbow?  

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Yeah Faedo's delivery just looks nasty, of course most thought the same about Chris Sale and Scherzer and they stayed healthy so I guess you never know.  

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Clemens, batting third for WM, went 2 for 3 plus 2 walks.  One of hits was double.  Deatherage, batting 4th, went 5 for 5.  The team scored only 2 runs.

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Just now, apabruce said:

Clemens, batting third for WM, went 2 for 3 plus 2 walks.  One of hits was double.  Deatherage, batting 4th, went 5 for 5.  The team scored only 2 runs.

These two belong in Lakeland right now. 

Clemens with 21BB in 133 AB is impressive, .855 OPS.  

Deatherage needs to walk more, strikes out a lot, but 15/17 SB with some pop.  A rich man's Cam Gibson?

I wonder what their '19 will look like?  Can they make it to Erie as regulars by the AS break?

Deatherage turns 23 a month from today and Clemens turns 23 in May.

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From Henning's latest article....

Quote

Jacob Robson, OF: Hasn’t missed Double A – in fact, he’s gotten stronger since his midseason jump to Toledo. Robson’s batting .324 in 36 games since joining the Mud Hens and will earn some chatter when Tigers Minor League Player of the Year is discussed. He’s an eighth-round pick by the Tigers, from Mississippi State in 2016, is 23, and bats left-handed. He was born in London, Ontario, and grew up in Windsor. Robson’s 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, and can play any of three outfield spots.

 

Of course unmentioned is the .869 OPS...that would work nicely here.

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18 hours ago, Buddha said:

someone thinks that fulmer will be traded if he ever bounces back.  and if he doesnt bounce back, he's a #3 starter who doesnt strike enough people out.

The Tigers call him a two, but it doesn't matter.  He's very valuable.

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4 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

The Tigers call him a two, but it doesn't matter.  He's very valuable.

In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king (and the bulldog lefty is crown prince).

?

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23 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

I remember back when this was the write-up on Porcello.  Sans injury concerns, of course.

i think thats still true of porcello.

#3 starters who dont strike enough people out can be valuable players and nothing to shake a stick at.  the thing with fullmer is whether 1) he'll be healthy; 2) whether he will be too expensive for the tigers by the time they get good enough to contend; and 3) whether anyone now is willing to give up a great prospect package for him.

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1 minute ago, Buddha said:

i think thats still true of porcello.

#3 starters who dont strike enough people out can be valuable players and nothing to shake a stick at.  the thing with fullmer is whether 1) he'll be healthy; 2) whether he will be too expensive for the tigers by the time they get good enough to contend; and 3) whether anyone now is willing to give up a great prospect package for him.

Whether he overcomes the injury concerns and whether anyone is willing to give up a great package for him will directly affect whether he becomes too expensive for the tigers. If he is slated to make a lot in later arbitration years, then he will still be a valuable trade chip if the tigers aren’t ready to spend some money to contend. 

They may have missed the sweet spot to trade him, but I’m not so sure. There weren’t a lot of buying teams this season anyway. I don’t think the spread between contenders and tankers will remain this large in years to come. I think this type of thing goes in waves.

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On 8/12/2018 at 1:26 PM, mickeyb105 said:

I remember back when this was the write-up on Porcello.  Sans injury concerns, of course.

Of course Porcello is a different pitcher than earlier in his career. His K rate  has climbed  - while still nothing to write home about considering the increase across the league it  is now about 1/IP and he does not rely on  his sinker nearly as much as he used to - he is more of 5 pitch guy now (something the Tiger brain trust explicitly *discouraged* early in his time here!),  using a curve and slider along with the FB, change and sinker. Now Fulmer's FB is even flatter then Porcello's and Fulmer's vertical break difference between FB and sinker is less than Porcello's and Porcello throws a slow curve for more velocity delta. These are exactly the kinds of things a guy without a swing and miss FB has to do. So do we see Fulmer doing any of it? So far the reports are that he has been pretty fixated on getting his slider perfect as the answer instead of expanding his rep. With a killer slider he's still a great two pitch pitcher ( = reliever). He will need more than that as a starter - IMO.

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12 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Of course Porcello is a different pitcher than earlier in his career. His K rate  has climbed  - while still nothing to write home about considering the increase across the league it  is now about 1/IP and he does not rely on  his sinker nearly as much as he used to - he is more of 5 pitch guy now (something the Tiger brain trust explicitly *discouraged* early in his time here!),  using a curve and slider along with the FB, change and sinker. Now Fulmer's FB is even flatter then Porcello's and Fulmer's vertical break difference between FB and sinker is less than Porcello's and Porcello throws a slow curve for more velocity delta. These are exactly the kinds of things a guy without a swing and miss FB has to do. So do we see Fulmer doing any of it? So far the reports are that he has been pretty fixated on getting his slider perfect as the answer instead of expanding his rep. With a killer slider he's still a great two pitch pitcher ( = reliever). He will need more than that as a starter - IMO.

Different pitcher, same results - Never misses a start, ERA in the low fours.  Nothing spectacular, but when when you have a guy that does that every year forever, that is pretty valuable.  Still not 30 years old.  

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32 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

Different pitcher, same results - Never misses a start, ERA in the low fours.  Nothing spectacular, but when when you have a guy that does that every year forever, that is pretty valuable.  Still not 30 years old.  

last 5 years he has averaged 107 ERA+, you can live with that on your staff. But I think it is worth noting that if he hadn't made changes from what he was doing before 2013 he would not be achieving what he is now. His ERA+ for the prior 5 year was below 100 (94) even given the boost he gets from his rookie year when no-one had seen his sinker yet.

I think the commonality is that neither of these guys are great at spinning the ball, but you can argue that Porcello has more pitching talent than Fulmer as he can throw pretty much any pitch and throw it for consistent strikes, though none of his pitches other than his sinker are any better than average at best. Fulmer has much more arm but has no-where near Porcello's repertoire - yet.

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I do think it’s interesting that fulmer sort of became this ace in waiting in many people’s minds (present company included). It was easy to dream on a guy that kind of comes out of nowhere and wins rookie of the year, and was arguably the most valuable pitcher on a team that included Justin Verlander, at least for one period of time. I think verlander’s struggles here and there put a lot of the focus on fulmer. 

It is possible that media fascination with him made him seem more valuable to the general public than he probably is to ML teams. That’s not to say that he isn’t valuable. Even if he is similar to porcello from a results perspective, that’s pretty valuable.

A lot of his trade value was based on years of control and salary. One less year of control and one less year of a league minimum salary is going to reduce value without making a performance leap. And it’s not that easy to make a leap from where he was, so he was always going to lose a bit of value going forward. 

I think it’s really easy for fans and pundits to hype him up and declare him the guy that could heal a farm system via trade, but I don’t think that was or is the reality. 

I think he will still have a lot of value going forward, and he could still end up bringing back a great prospect or two if he is traded in the future. But I don’t think he’s ever going to be a cy young contending entering a season (but like porcello he could always have a lucky season; you never know).

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If Fulmer were as healthy as Porcello, he would quite valuable.  One of Porcello's strengths has been his remarkable health record.   

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25 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I do think it’s interesting that fulmer sort of became this ace in waiting in many people’s minds (present company included)...

I think there is a lot of truth to this - but in addition when he first 'rediscovered' that change-up his rookie yr he was throwing it better than he has since.

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3 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

If Fulmer were as healthy as Porcello, he would quite valuable.  One of Porcello's strengths has been his remarkable health record.   

Remember the way he used to start to run out of gas at 80 pitches? Maybe he wasn't strong enough to hurt himself when he was younger - then again, don't ask Youkilis about that. xD

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5 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Remember the way he used to start to run out of gas at 80 pitches? Maybe he wasn't strong enough to hurt himself when he was younger - then again, don't ask Youkilis about that. xD

That is probably the biggest thing that has changed with him, his ability to work deeper into games.  

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10 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

That is probably the biggest thing that has changed with him, his ability to work deeper into games.  

Boyd has taken years longer to reach any level of success (people claim that is more common in lefties, though I have no idea if any data support the view) but is becoming a similar pitcher from the other side. Medium quality fast ball but can throw 5 pitches for strikes and mixes it up. Boyd's stuff is maybe occasionally a bit better but his command is not as good.

But what's up with a LHP that can't hold runners?

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28 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Boyd has taken years longer to reach any level of success (people claim that is more common in lefties, though I have no idea if any data support the view) but is becoming a similar pitcher from the other side. Medium quality fast ball but can throw 5 pitches for strikes and mixes it up. Boyd's stuff is maybe occasionally a bit better but his command is not as good.

But what's up with a LHP that can't hold runners?

"Nothing"

 

-jon lester

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3 hours ago, tiger337 said:

If Fulmer were as healthy as Porcello, he would quite valuable.  One of Porcello's strengths has been his remarkable health record.   

Between his health and pitching 170 MLB innings as a 20 yr old he's been remarkable in this day and age.

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