The Tigers Minor League Report Episode 2

On the latest Tigers Minor League Report, Chris and Roger go over the players who have impressed them so far in spring training.


The Tigers Minor League Report-Episode 1

On the first episode of the Tigers Minor League Report, Chris Brown, writer for and host of Bad Hop Radio on talks about the JaCoby Jones, the infield prospects and some of the pitchers from West Michigan.

Tigers (Down on the) Farm Report: April 28, 2014

Tigers Outfield by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, via Wikimedia Commons

Tigers Outfield by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, via Wikimedia Commons


It’s been a slow start for the Tigers farm teams with Lakeland being the only one with a record over a .500 (12-9).


Robbie Ray (LHP), the other pitcher acquired in the Doug Fister trade, is off to a solid start for the Mud Hens. Posting a 2-2 record with an ERA of 1.93 in four starts, he’s allowed just five runs in 23 innings pitched. With 16 strikeouts, five walks and a WHIP of 1.07, he’s ranked fourth on the Tigers Top 10 Prospects list according to Baseball America.


Corey Knebel (RHP), the first round pick for the Tigers (38th overall) in 2013 is  ranked seventh on the top 10 prospects list. According to Baseball America, Knebel has the best curve-ball of all prospects in baseball. He is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.29 and eight strikeouts in seven innings pitched. However, with five walks, his WHIP is 1.43. If he gets his walks under control, he could get a look in Detroit, especially with a bullpen that ranks near the bottom of the American League.

Chad Smith (RHP), the reliever out of USC, is off to a good start this season. He has an ERA of 2.45 with 12 strikeouts over 11 innings pitched and a WHIP of 1.09.

Kyle Ryan(LHP), the left-handed starter picked in the 12th round of the 2010 draft,  is the only starter in Erie that has an ERA lower than 4.00. He’s 2-2 with an ERA of 3.13. He’s pitched 23 innings recording 18 strikeouts while batters are hitting just .183 against him.


Jake Thompson (RHP)  is ranked fourth amongst Tigers prospects, according to  He’s 2-1 with an ERA of 1.05 and a WHIP of 0.90. He’s pitched 25 innings while recording 22 strikeouts. Expect to see him in Erie by the middle of the summer.

Tigers (Down on the) Farm Report: April 2014

Nick Castellanos at Single-A Lakeland by Roger DeWitt, via Wikimedia Commons

Nick Castellanos at Single-A Lakeland by Roger DeWitt, via Wikimedia Commons

The Detroit Tigers Farm Report: April 2014

Hernan Perez (Shortstop)
Hitting just .197 in 34 games with the Tigers in spring training, his ability to play both second base  and shortstop makes him a good utility player. Perez is the 10th best prospect in the Tigers system according to team sources. He will start the season in Toledo but if injuries hit the Tigers, he could be one to consider.

Eugenio Suarez (Shortstop)
Ranked as the seventh best prospect in the Tigers system, Suarez got off to a hot start in Lakeland in 2013, hitting .311. He moved to Erie a short time later and hit .253. He will start the season in Erie as the everyday shortstop.

Corey Knebel (Relief Pitcher)
With the bullpen being the biggest question mark of the Tigers this season, there is a good reason why Knebel has stood out. With an ERA of 0.97 at West Michigan, including 41 strikeouts in 31 innings and 15 saves, he’s an arm to watch.

Drew VerHagen (Starting Pitcher)
VerHagen pitched well in Spring Training and has started the season in Toledo. Last year in the minors he was just 7-8 but posted an ERA of 2.90 with batters just hitting .220 against him in Lakeland and Erie. A right hander, he could make spot starts if injuries to the rotation occur this season.

Daniel Fields (Outfilder)
With Tyler Collins making the Tigers opening day roster, Daniel Fields’ time may have arrived. He will be starting the season in Toledo and can play center or left field. He batted .284 with Erie last year and could be an everyday player by next season.

Melvin Mercedes (Relief Pitcher)
With many similarities to Bruce Rondon, Mercedes tore up Lakeland and Erie picking up 23 saves with an ERA of 1.19 last season. Not a big strikeout pitcher so far, he could see some time in the Tigers bullpen in 2014. He starts the season in Toledo.

CASTILLO: Tigers (Down on the) Farm Report

by Roger Castillo (@rogcast81)

Toledo Mud Hens:
The Mud Hens have won seven in a row heading into Tuesday’s game against Lehigh Valley. The offense has come alive lately with the help of the Tiger’s top prospect Nick Castellanos. In the past ten games, he is 13 for 40 (.325). Ben Guez, an outfielder drafted in 19th round of the 2008 draft, has been adding the extra base power with 4 HR’s and 15 RBI’s in the past ten games. Guez batted just .234 in the month of May and for June, he is batting .377. Catcher Bryan Holaday and outfielder Avisail Garcia were called up to the Tigers when Sanchez and Avila were placed on the DL. Pitching wise, Matt Hoffman is posting a ERA of 1.13 and batters are just hitting .212 against him.

Erie Seawolves:
Catcher James McCann continues to be one of the Tigers best prospects. He has hit .324 in the past ten games and has hit .348 with runners in scoring position. Left fielder Danny Fields continues to hit. One of top 10 Tiger prospects, he is hitting .280.

Lakeland Flying Tigers:
On June 15th, three Lakeland Flying Tigers were chosen for the Florida State League’s North Team as closer Melvin Mercedes, starter Kyle Ryan and outfielder Jeff McVaney representing the Flying Tigers. Mercedes leads all FSL relievers with the fewest baserunners per nine innings (7.99). He also is posting a 0.76 ERA and has just allowed two runs in 23 innings pitched. Kyle Ryan currently leads the Flying Tigers with wins (5), innings pitched (68.0) starts (11) and is second on the team with 39 strikeouts. McVaney leads the Flying Tigers in most offensive categories including hits (60), runs scored (27), doubles (13), triples (5) and home runs (5).

West Michigan Whitecaps:
First baseman Jeff Holm, second baseman Devon Travis and closer Jose Valdez represented the Whitecaps as members of the Eastern Division squad for the Midwest All Star game. Holm is the starting first baseman while Travis and Valdez will be reserves. Holm, a former Michigan State grad, is batting .300 with five home runs and 34 RBI’s. Travis, has posted the league’s longest hitting streak with 21 games. He is being considered for MVP in the Midwest League and leads the league in hits with 72. He won MVP in the All-Star game last night. Valdez is posting a 3.98 ERA and batters are just hitting .200 against him. He has 22 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.