On November 11th, 2014, Baseball America published its Top 10 Prospects for the Tigers and their 2015 season. Additionally another one of my favorite sites (Baseball Prospectus) came out with their Top 10 on January 11th, 2015 and after the Travis trade was made. Here’s how both looked…
Baseball America Baseball Prospectus
- Devon Travis, 2b 1. Derek Hill, OF
- Steven Moya, OF 2. James McCann, C
- Buck Farmer, RHP 3. Steven Moya, OF
- Derek Hill, OF 4. Buck Farmer, RHP
- Domingo Leyba, SS/2B 5. Kevin Ziomek, LHP
- Kevin Ziomek, LHP 6. Kyle Lobstein, LHP
- Robbie Ray, LHP 7. Spencer Turnbull, RHP
- Hernan Perez, SS/2B 8. Grayson Greiner, C
- James McCann, C 9. Joe Jimenez, RHP
- Tyler Collins, OF 10. Dixon Machado, SS
Lets take a look at how the prospects fared during the 2015 season…
Devon Travis, 2b – Traded in November 2014 for Anthony Gose, Travis went on to have a strong 2015 season, winning the starting second base job in the spring and bursting out of the gate before injuries set him back. A promising April, where Travis hit .325 with a 1.018 OPS in 22 games turned in to only 44 more games the rest of the season. Still, Travis finished with a .304 average and .859 OPS, but only hit 2 more homers (8 total) after April.
Derek Hill, OF – The 2014 first round draft pick continues to struggle with that bat, as the 19-year old hit just .238 with no homers, 6 doubles, and 5 triples in 53 games at West Michigan (A). Hill fought numerous games through the season based on various injuries. The good news however, is that when Hill was on the field, he was competing against guys 2.4 years older on average.
Steven Moya, OF – The 6′ 7″ outfielder player most of his games in Triple-A Toledo before his call-up when rosters expanded in September. For the Mudhens, Moya hit .240 with 20 homers, 30 doubles, and 162 k’s in 500 at bats. Once Moya was called up to Detroit, he appeared in 9 games and hit .182 with 4 hits and 10 strike outs in 22 at bats. Moya will be entering a pivotal age 24 season in 2016…
James McCann, C – McCann was an awesome surprise for Detroit as he broke camp with the Tigers in the spring and eventually took over as the starting catcher when Avila went down with an injury. James hit .264, as he slumped a bit in the second half of the season (.250 vs. .280 avg), with the dog days of August taking their effect as McCann hit just .195 that month after posting a .356 average in July. Regardless, I don’t think the organization or fans could have asked for more from McCann in 2015
Buck Farmer, RHP – Farmer got touched up in Detroit as he split time between the big club and Toledo. The 24-year old started out in Toledo and completed a few spot starts in Detroit in May and June before staying up the rest of the season. For Toledo, Farmer was 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA and 7.9 k rate, however in Detroit, Buck was 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA and 5.4 K rate. Steady improvement was made however, as Farmer game up 12 earned in his first two starts and was gotten to again by Toronto in late August before making a few very solid appearances out of the bullpen in September.
Domingo Leyba, SS/2b – The 19-year old middle infielder was part of the trade that sent Shane Greene to Detroit and Robbie Ray and Leyba to Arizona. Leyba played High-A in 2015 where he hit .237 with 21 doubles, 5 triples, and a couple of homers
Kevin Ziomek, LHP – Ziomek was the 2nd round pick of the Tigers in the 2013 draft and competed at Lakeland (High-A) where he went 9-11 with a 3.43 ERA and very nice 8.3 k rate and low walk rate (2 per 9)
Kyle Lobstein, LHP – Lobstein came north with the club out of spring training and showed promise early on in the season through his first 5-starts where he was 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA. The wheels came off in his next start again the Twins, where he gave up 6 runs and then 3 more in each of his next two starts before hitting the DL. Kyle possibly came back too early in September where he gave up 17 runs combined in his first three starts. Lobstein finished with a 3-8 record and a 5.94 ERA
Robbie Ray, LHP – As mentioned above, Ray was packaged up and sent to Arizona as part of the Shane Greene trade. Ray started out in the minors where he threw 9 games, before making an appearance in May and then sticking in June whit the Diamondbacks. Ray finished 5-12 with a 3.52 ERA and very nice 8.4 k rate
Spencer Turnbull, RHP – The 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft, had a very solid season at West Michigan (A), where he was 11-3, with a 3.01 ERA, 8.2 k rate and gave up zero home runs over 116.2 innings of work
Hernand Perez, SS/2b – Hernan played in 22 games for Detroit before before being outrighted to Toledo and claimed off waivers as he was out of options by Milwaukee. Perez played in 90 games for the Brewers where he hit .270 with a .646 OPS playing most of his time at 3b.
Grayson Greiner, C – Greiner was the 3rd round pick by the Tigers in 2014 and played in high-A Lakeland in 2015. After hitting .322 in 2014 at Lakeland, Greiner struggled hitting just .183 with a .504 OPS and 90 k’s in 343 plate appearances.
Joe Jimenez, RHP – Jimenez was signed as an undrafted free agent and at the age of 20, pitched at West Michigan (A). Following up two very good minor league years, Jimenez progressed nicely yet again in 2015, where he was 5-1 in 40 appearances, with 17 saves and an eye-popping 12.8 k rate.
Tyler Collins, OF – Collins split time between Toledo and Detroit in 2015 where he hit .247 with 2 homers and 20 RBI in 53 games at Triple-A Toledo. Tyler proceeded to play in 60 games for the Tigers, gaining playing time after the Cespedes trade and hit .266 with 4 homers, 3 triples, and 11 doubles (.732 OPS)
Dixon Machado, SS – Machado was a hot commodity in the spring, but eventually started the season out in Triple-A Toledo, where he hit .261 with 29 extra base hits (.645 OPS) and 85 k’s in 567 plate appearances. Machado then saw time in Detroit with the Jose Iglesias injury, where he made 24 appearances and hit .235 with a .586 OPS and surely will be back in Toledo in 2016.
An early list from “FakeTeams.com” has the Tigers Top 10 Prospects pegged at 1. Michael Fulmer (RHP), 2. Beau Burrows (RHP), 3. Derek Hill (OF), 4. Steven Moya (OF), 5. JaCoby Jones (SS), 6. Christian Stewart (OF), 7. Spencer Turnbull (RHP), 8. Luis Cessa (RHP), 9. Kevin Ziomek (LHP), 10. Austin Kubitza (RHP)