Season Preview: Extended Spring Training Pt. 1

Detroit Tigers Prospect Report Custom Logo - Travie Wade Designz

I've done season previews for the 4 "main" minor league affiliates, but that doesn't account for everyone in the Tigers system. They still have a lot of players who will end up playing for the GCL or Connecticut teams, but will go to extended spring training first. This 2 part preview will look at those guys.

I've decided to break this into 2 parts at the risk of writing 6,000 words. So I'll do the position players first, and then the pitchers tomorrow.

Extended Spring Training Preview Pt. 1: Position Players

Infielders:

Jose Soledad, 1B

-First year stateside in 2012 after being in the VSL for 3 seasons. .681 OPS in 84 PA's. Would assume he's slated for Connecticut when their season starts. More of an org guy.

Harold Castro, 2B

-Some think he could go to West Michigan, but with Devon Travis there and Castro being only 19, it's fine for him to go to Connecticut. Really good pure hitter, can run, will be solid at 2B. Good prospect. One of the best bats in the org, albeit with minimal power projection

Bennett Pickar, C

-Really nice defensive catcher, almost no bat to speak of. He'll probably end up as a backup C in the majors in time, based solely on his defensive chops. 11th rounder in 2012, was considered one of the top defensive catchers in the whole draft.

David Gonzalez, SS

-Projected plus defender with a plus arm, Gonzalez showed some nice things in 2012, his first year stateside. Excellent approach at the plate, he walked more than he struck out. Won't wow with the bat, but could end up a major league SS on the basis of his glove and probable high OBP skills.

Jesus Ustariz, 3B

-Could play 3B or 1B, also some talk of playing a corner OF spot. Good approach at the plate, but I need to see more power. If he sticks at 3B, the bat might be enough. If he's forced to move permanently to 1B or LF, I don't see enough bat. Watch him closely, he could jump in 2013.

Jordan Dean, 2B

-Drafted out of Central Michigan in 2012, Dean is a guy who does a lot of things well. Good runner, solid D at 2B with the arm to play the position. Decent approach at the plate although he's very aggressive. Gap power that I believe will show up in 2013, as he's gotten used to using a wood bat. Probably an org guy, but a good one.

Andrew Longley, C

-Undrafted guy, played in the GCL in 2012 with solid results. He's older (24 already), and is more of an org guy. Should see him in Connecticut when their season starts.

Brett Harrison, 3B

-Toolsy infielder, Harrison struggled mightily in 2012. Still has a plus arm from 3B, projection to turn into a solid-average defender, and at least average power as well. He's one that could vault his way up rankings lists if he puts it together, but he's got work to do

Aaron Sayers, SS

-He's coming over from Australia for the first time, and he's lauded by scouts for his bat and athleticism. Probably is a 2B long term due to below-average arm, but the bat should play. May take awhile, as he's very young and incredibly raw, but he's one to watch.

Cory Jensen, 2B/3B

-Org infielder, nothing says "major leaguer" here. Could be cut, but will probably hang on due to versatility.

Edgar Corcino, 3B/C

-Listed as a 3B, and that's his primary position, but he can also catch in a pinch or play 2B. More of an org guy right now, he lacks the bat projection for a major league career.

Alwin Delgado, SS

-Showed some nice things in the GCL last year, but doesn't have much projection with the bat, giving him a utility profile if all falls together.

Carlos De Los Santos, 2B

-Good runner with solid defensive chops, the bat lags behind at this point. Probably an org guy, but could see him blossom in 2013.

Charlie Neil, C

-Org catcher, drafted out of Yale in 2012.

Outfielders:

Tyler Gibson, OF

-Toolsy OF. Would rank really highly on a prospect list based on tools alone. Has plus to plus-plus speed, plus raw power, and projection to be a plus defender. He's really raw right now, but if his defensive instincts match up to his athleticism and speed, he's an easy plus defender. Above-average arm from CF or LF, average from RF. Bat has a long way to go. If the bat develops, he's a potential star. If it doesn't, he may never get above A-ball.

Pat Smith, OF

-Primarily a RF, Smith runs relatively well and has some power, but hasn't tapped into it fully due to underdeveloped hit tool. If the bat comes, he has major league potential.

Ismael Salgado, OF

-Salgado is a true burner. One of the fastest players in the Tigers' system, he's one of those guys that is still learning to actually play baseball.

Rashad Brown, OF

-Very raw young OF with tools, but similar to Salgado, he needs to learn to play the game. The hope is that as the game slows down, his tools will catch up and turn him into a legitimate prospect. Right now he's on the radar, but the rawness keeps expectations low.

Zach Kirksey, OF

-Plus raw power is the calling card here, but along with it comes a ton of swing and miss, and he's strictly a LF at this point. He'll hit plenty of HR's, but also strike out a ton.

DJ Driggers, OF

-Suspended in 2012 for PED's, he's another OF with some tools who is raw, raw, raw. I'll be interested to see if he can rebound in 2013, probably with the GCL team.

Miguel Paulino, OF

-Another HS OF with some tools (have I said this before?), but he's very raw and struggled in limited action in 2012. Wait-and-see guy.

Note: It's pretty obvious I don't know a lot about most of these guys. Most of them were low draft picks in 2012, and I've only seen maybe 2-3 in action. I'll be seeing several of them with Connecticut in July, but until then, I'll do what I can to find some stuff on them. I don't have access to paywalled stuff (Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, etc) so what I can find is minimal, but as you all know, I'll do my best.

Part 2 (Pitchers) will be published on Thursday.

Reminders: You can follow us on twitter @TigersProspects, or follow me personally @B_Sakowski.

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