FanPost

Minor League Matters: Corner Outfield Depth Chart

Because studying for midterms is for responsible people- more depth charts!

(Statline rubric: Plate Appearances, Batting Average/On Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage, BABIP, K/BB)

MLB

Johnny Damon- LF- 36 years old

2009 (MLB): 626 PA .282/.365/.489, .305 BABIP, 98/71 K/BB

I won't spend much time on the trio of corner OF's on the MLB roster- there's no point and it distracts from the prospects. Damon is a decent defender, good source of OBP (with a good deal coming from contact). He can take a base, hit for some power and is a very good player for his salary.

Magglio Ordonez- RF- 36 years old

2009 (MLB): 518 PA, .310/.376/.428, .344 BABIP, 65/51 K/BB

Hits for average and OBP, has lost the ability to hit for power, can't field. The Eighteen-Million Dollar Man will not be worth Eighteen Million Dollars. Also, expect Clete Thomas to play defensive caddy all year.

Carlos Guillen- LF- 34 years old

2009 (MLB): 332 PA, .242/.339/.419, .263 BABIP, 56/39 K/BB

He's the baby of the corner OF rotation. That doesn't say too much. Guillen has had a few pages added to his injury list in the last two seasons, and even though he can hit pretty well when healthy, he won't stay healthy.

AAA/AA

Jeff Frazier- RF- 27 years old

2009 (AAA): 429 PA .308/.336/.456, .330 BABIP, 49/20 K/BB

2009 (AA): 96 PA, .322/.375/.471, .370 BABIP, 13/7 K/BB

Frazier is a decent OF for Toledo or Erie. He is not, however, a major league caliber player. Average defensively, with a line drive stroke (21% at both AA and AAA last year), he can hit for average but doesn't walk too much, nor does he hit for much power. He also doesn't steal bases. Frazier's future is as an emergency player or AAA organizational fodder.

Wilkin Ramirez- LF- 24 years old

2009 (AAA):  .258/.326/.445, .347 BABIP, 143/41 K/BB

Wilkin is an incredibly frustrating player. Toolsy as Home Depot, Ramirez has all the potential in the world- Baseball America says he has the ability to be a 25-25 player (homers and steals) as well as the swing to hit .300. He's poor defensively right now, but still learning how to run routes in the corners. Ramirez's biggest problem is that he has the plate discipline of... well, a Tigers prospect. Ramirez needs refinement, desperately. His problem is aggression- he seems to think that swinging at everything and beating the hell out of the ball whenever possible is a good option. Ramirez needs to calm down and work on translating his tools into production. Can he do it? Certainly- even with the poor discipline, he could hit .300/.350/.500... but that's a big if. A year in Toledo is a must, and if Bull Durham can settle him down at the plate, we may have a good player on our hands.

Deik Scram- RF- 26 years old

2009 (AA): 514 PA, .253/.339/.478, .304 BABIP, 120/62 K/BB

He's fast- even though he only stole 9 bases. He's a good defender- for a corner OF'er. He has good power and patience- but a lack of contact ability. Scram is also 26. The organization doesn't seem to think too much of him- he repeated this year in AA Erie, and a 26 year old repeating AA is not exactly prime prospect material.

Brennan Boesch- RF- 24 years old

2009 (AA): 569 PA, .276/.318/.512, .316 BABIP, 127/33 K/BB

Boesch can bash. Now that we've gotten the bad pun out of the way, it's time to evaluate this favorite of the Tigers organization. Kid can hit moonshots- his power is some of the best in the system. Baseball America, however, is skeptical, and worries that Erie inflated his power numbers. His swing is long and stiff- which doesn't bode well for hitting for contact, something Boesch has a problem with. He also needs to walk more. I'm skeptical of Boesch's ability to produce anything other than home runs, and I would like to see him repeat the power display in Toledo next year. Boesch may become the 2011 version of Marcus Thames, but it's tough to see him doing more than that.

A+/A/SS

Kody Kaiser- RF- 24 years old

2009 (A+): 193 PA, .267/.363/.461, 371 BABIP, 55/23 K/BB

Kody Kaiser has superficially good numbers weighted down by not only a subpar sample in 200 PA but a high BABIP, which indicates regression on an already poor batting average. It's a shame, too. Kaiser has a lot of tools- he can swipe a bag (29 last year at West Michigan and 9 this year), can hit for some power and can actually take a walk. His undoing is the strikeout- the same problem that every other player in this system seems to have. He's also old for his level, which indicates that some of his performance could be him merely picking on younger pitchers. An exciting player to watch if you happen to be in Lakeland (or Erie if he by some chance gets promoted), but somebody we won't be seeing in the majors anytime soon.

Josh Workman- LF- 24 years old

2009 (A+): 183 PA, .297/.372/.380, .387 BABIP, 38/20 K/BB

Workman is a left fielder that is old for his level, hits for no power, struck out in 20% of his plate appearances and has an unsustainable batting average. The good news: he can take a walk. The bad: he can't do much else. Workman is most likely organizational fodder. Shame you can't transplant his batting eye into Wilkin Ramirez though...

Avisail Garcia- RF- 18 years old

2009 (A): 314 PA .264/.290/.324, .342 BABI, 70/8 K/BB

Do you see that line above? Disregard it. All of it. Garcia put those numbers up against 22 year olds, with 4 more years of physical development and experience. This isn't to say that Garcia is the best thing this system has to offer, but he's got great upside. He's got great speed and good raw power- combine that with a quick swing and you can see why Baseball America rated him #17 on their Tigers Top 30. The key here will be refinement in all aspects of his game. Don't be surprised if you hear of Garcia in a top 100 list... or if you never hear of him again. But hey, at least he's interesting.

Brent Wyatt- LF- 25 years old

2009 (A): 576 PA, .242/.356/.335, .279 BABIP, 71/67 K/BB

A punchless left fielder who is old for his level. Strikes one and two there. He's fast- 24 SB to his credit- and has plate discipline and contact skills to some degree (he got unlucky on balls in play), but corner outfielders generally have to hit for power in order to make it. Wyatt probably won't. Shame that all the patient ones land up floundering.

Billy Nowlin- LF- 23 years old

2009 (A): 480 PA, .311/.390/.483, .346 BABIP, 67/37 K/BB

Nowlin can rake- he put up an 875 OPS in A ball. While he's a little old for the league, he shows great power, passable plate discipline (which for this system is borderline miraculous) and decent contact skills. The problem is that he fields like a mailbox. He's a DH if he goes anywhere. The bat is interesting, though, and if he could play LF, he'd probably move a lot faster.

Alexis Espinoza- RF- 21 years old

2009 (SS) .250/.322/.400, .344 BABIP, 64/14 K/BB

Espinoza is a toolsy RF, with decent speed and great power. Unfortunately, that power hasn't translated to the American leagues- he hit bombs in the VSL, but not in the US. It's a shame- Espinoza is an interesting player, but at 21 and still in SS ball, he has a long way to go and he needs to take a definitive step forward else he be passed up by new draftees. There is upside here, which is more than you can say about some of the guys on this list.

Steven Moya- LF- 18 years old

Moya played in the GCL in 2009, and so I won't post his numbers (they're meaningless, but if you want to go look, First Inning is the place). He's toolsy, he can apparently take a walk (!!!) and... well, there's not much more on him. Not that there's much to talk about at this point anyways. Matt Wallace over at Take 75 North seems to believe he'll be coming to the US this year, so he's on the Avisail Garcia fast track. Hopefully he'll make himself known and will give us something to talk about this year.

Final Thoughts

Ugh. Some toolsy players in Wilkin Ramirez, Avisail Garcia and Steven Moya, but there's a lot of garbage here. It's a shame too- there's plenty of space in Detroit for some decent corner OF'ers. The Tigers really need Ryan Streiby to be able to field well enough to play left, or they're going to have to spend some serious money to bring the outfield corners up to snuff.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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