Because their schedules are, mercifully, a month shorter than the big league calendar, minor league teams already have reached the one-third mark of their seasons. It's a good time to inspect 10 Tigers prospects and their presumed progress. Note that players already on the Tigers active roster (Avisail Garcia, Jose Ortega, Luke Putkonen, etc.) are not included in this group. 1. Nick Castellanos, outfielder, Triple A Toledo: Still the Tigers' top prodigy. Has gotten some necessary schooling at Triple A, where pitchers are older and throw more off-speed stuff. Castellanos is holding his own: .251 batting average, five home runs, 15 doubles. Has had torrid spurts. Tigers are in no hurry to promote him as long as their current outfield cast remains healthy. But a good, solid start for a kid who two months ago turned 21. 2. Bruce Rondon, right-handed reliever, Toledo: Tigers rushed him during spring camp, but Rondon is not far from regular work in Detroit. He has allowed one earned run in 17 games for the Mud Hens. In 17 2/3 innings, Rondon has struck out 21, has walked six, and has allowed eight hits. 3. James McCann, catcher, Erie: Biggest jump by any of the Tigers' upper-tier prospects. Has a potential Gold Glove package. But it has been his bat that has taken off in 2013. He has hit consistently and, of late, dynamically for the SeaWolves. Still only two years out of college. The Tigers will take their time with him, but with Alex Avila's struggles at least a temporary concern, McCann is at the moment one of their two or three most valuable prospects. 4. Eugenio Suarez, shortstop, Double A Erie: Makes all the plays. Has hit acceptably (.266) since being promoted from Single A Lakeland. Tigers will watch him closely this summer. Suarez is only 21, but he should become Detroit's next starting shortstop. 5. Hernan Perez, second base, Erie: Batting .297 and will be the Tigers' probable choice as their second baseman next year — if they do not re-sign Omar Infante, which is in the stars. Perez is 22 and has all the equipment to be a solid everyday second baseman in the major leagues.
Reliever Bruce Rondon close to a return to Tigers
Detroit News | May 27