Kevin C. Cox
Over the next several weeks, I'll be taking a look back at Baseball America's top ten Tigers prospects rankings. You may know some of these names, as they're still active with the Tigers or other teams. You may also see some names that you haven't seen in a while or that may make you laugh out loud. The review continues with 2007.
10. Scott Sizemore, 2B
Scott Sizemore was going to be the future at second base in Detroit; in the minors he hit for average and power, and stole bases while flashing a decent glove. He struggled mightily in 2010 in Detroit, was dealt to Oakland the next season, did marginally better there, and then got hurt and missed all of 2012
9. Jeff Larish, 3B/1B
The Arizona State product showcased big power in the lower levels but never hit for average and struck out a ton. The Tigers gave him a couple of tries in 2008 and 2009 but he couldn't crack the everyday lineup. He was dealt to Oakland during the 2010 season and has spent the last two seasons struggling with Pennsylvania's AAA teams.
8. Dallas Trahern, RHP
Stop me if you've heard this before: Trahern, like many other Tigers pitching prospects, was solid in the lower levels (he posted ERA's of 3.58 and 3.30 between West Michigan and Lakeland in 2005 and 2006 respectively. After a 13 win season between Erie and Toledo (in which he posted a 1.40 WHIP and only five strikeouts per nine) he was dealt to the Marlins. His ERA's over the next three years: 5.97, 6.28, 5.36. At least he didn't blow up in the Tigers' system.
7. Gorkys Hernandez, OF
Hernandez hit .327 and stole 20 bases in only 50 games in the GCL in 2006, and followed that up by hitting .293 and stealing 54 bases for West Michigan in 2007. He was dealt to Atlanta that offseason in the ill-fated Edgar Renteria trade and has failed to replicate those number the minors AND the majors (where he is a .192 hitter). He currently plays in Pittsburgh's system and will likely be seeing some major-league time in 2013.
6. Eulogio De la Cruz, RHP
De la Cruz is known more for being a part of one of the best trades in recent Tigers history than for anything he did on a baseball field. He was a supplemental piece in the Cabrera blockbuster in the winter of 2007. In 11 minor league seasons, the righty has a 3.80 ERA with 41 saves. He last pitched in the majors for the Brewers in 2011; his career ML ERA is 8.16.
5. Jordan Tata, RHP
Tatawent 13-2 with a 2.79 ERA for Lakeland in 2005 and posted impressive peripherals, including a 1.16 WHIP and a K/9 ratio around eight. In eleven major league appearances between 2006 and 2007, however, the 6'6'' righthander posted a 6.91 ERA. Can't get 'em all.
4. Jair Jurrjens, RHP
Jurrjens was dealt to Atlanta in the 2007 offseason along with Gorkys Hernandez after he went 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA for the Tigers in '07. He blossomed into an All-Star pitcher for the Braves before he went off the rails last season, posting a 6.89 ERA and getting released, The Orioles signed him to a deal last week.
3. Brent Clevlen, OF
Brent Clevlen makes yet another appearance in these rankings. To Clevlen's credit, he's been a very consistent minor league hitter; he spent seven years in Detroit's system and reached double-digits in homers five times. He also recorded at least five triples in six of his seven years with the Tigers organization. As far as his major league career goes...he's a consistent minor league hitter. He spent 2012 with the Diamondbacks, hitting .290 between AA Mobile and AAA Reno
2. Andrew Miller, LHP
Six years ago, several pundits predicted that the Tigers' rotation would be a force headed by Verlander and this guy, the supposedly polished lefty out of North Carolina. Yeah, that didn't happen. Miller struggled in 2007, was dealt to Florida for Miguel Cabrera, and struggled there to, unable to establish himself in the rotation or the bullpen. Miller then ended up in Boston as a situational lefty, and he actually had a very solid 2012 for the Red Sox: 3-2, 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP,and 51 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched. His career may yet be salvageable.
1. Cameron Maybin, CF
Regarded in most circles as a can't-miss prospect and a future superstar, Maybin lit up single-A pitching in 2006 and displayed five-tool potential. He was THE critical part of the Miguel Cabrera trade in the winter of 2007 and was expected to blossom into an All-Star centerfielder. However, Maybin constantly straddled the majors-minors line in Miami and never established himself there. Now in San Diego, Maybin has become the team's centerfielder and is a Gold Glove-caliber defender. Offensively, he's a stolen-base threat, swiping 66 bags the last two seasons. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't hit for power or average (.243 in 2012) and strikes out a ton. Not quite a bust, but far from the sure thing scouts thought he would be.