Morning Prowl: Bourquin Banned, Organizational Trees, Top 10 Prospects, and Goodbye Hessman

[Updated at 9 a.m.]

  Tigers minor league third baseman Ronnie Bourquin received a 50-game suspension yesterday, after testing positive for an amphetamine.  Good timing, with the team having to decide who to keep on the 40-man roster.  He'll serve the penalty at the beginning of next season.

Bourquin played in 118 games between Single-A and Double-A this year.  He batted .267/.361/.408 with eight home runs and 77 RBIs.

  The Arizona Fall League plays its championship game tomorrow afternoon at 2:45 p.m. ET.  And the Peoria Javelinas, with several Tigers prospects, are playing for the title.  So here's one last chance for you to get a look at Casper Wells, Robbie Weinhardt, Andrew Oliver, and a few others before next spring.  The game will be shown on MLB Network.

(via The Detroit Tigers Weblog)

  At Take 75 North, Matt Wallace has thoughts about the 40-man roster, listing 11 players who could be protected by the Tigers.  But maybe they shouldn't be, as they could also be replaceable within the organization.

  The Freep has a photo gallery of 10 free agents the Tigers should take a look at this offseason.  There are a couple of interesting names suggested (Endy Chavez, Frank Catalanotto) and one that makes me - and I'm only speaking for myself - want to pull my hair out (John Smoltz).

  With the 40-man roster needing to be finalized today, it's worth checking out the Organizational Tree that Bill Ferris has set up at The Detroit Tigers Weblog.  How did each player on the roster end up with Detroit?  Some had a pretty direct route, others took a more winding road.

  At The Hardball Times, Matt Hagen listed his Top 10 Tigers prospects.  The list is headed by pitcher Jacob Turner, Detroit's first-round draft pick this year.  He's followed by second baseman Scott Sizemore, who Tigers fans will probably get a good look at next season.

(Thanks to Dberg for posting this in the comments yesterday.)

  Jason Beck gives a slow clap to Mike Hessman, who became a minor league free agent on Wednesday.  His days in the Tigers organization are very likely over.  In five years with the Mud Hens, Hessman got the call up to Detroit for 29 games.  He batted.256/.330/.615 with nine homers and 19 RBIs, playing first base and third base.

Other familiar names who became free agents were Dane Sardinha, Macay McBride, and Brent Clevlen.

  If you've seen the term "BABIP" get bounced around from time to time in the comments and wondered what that was all about, Big League Stew provides a thorough explanation.

  The Royals will add powder blue hats to their day-game ensemble next season.  I think they should've gone back to the powder blue pants.  Of course, you can't sell uniform pants to fans like you can sell hats.

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