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Stars and Scrubs: The Second Half

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Since I never managed to get to July's Stars and Scrubs and September is too short for a separate post, thispost will cover the entire second half. As such, it'll work a little differently. I'm going to be pointing out great (and poor) performances over the second half. It won't necessarily be dominance (or mediocrity) over the entire second half, but multiple months of ownage (or garbage) will rank higher than just single months.

Here we go!

STAR: Jacob Turner, RHP, High A Lakeland

This one's a no brainer. The 4.09 FIP from July is okay, but the sparkling 2.55 from August more than impresses. Overall, Turner has a 3.18 FIP in Lakeland (at 19!!!) and his K/9 rate has been getting better from month to month. He's still a good one, and in my mind probably still Detroit's #1 prospect.

SCRUB: Charlie Furbush, LHP, AAA Toledo

Call this the AAA blues. Overall, Furbush has a FIP of 5.16 in AAA, which is pretty bad. His K/9 rate is down to 6.66 and his home run rate is 1.62 per 9. The walk rate is also high at 2.88 per 9 innings. Those numbers are not acceptable together, and his struggles can probably be blamed on the quick move to Toledo. He'll always give up quite a few homers, and the K rate might never go back to 10 batters per 9, but something has got to give here. Furbush still has a really good future, but he needs more time.

STAR: Adam Wilk, LHP, AA Erie

It's not exactly the dominant performance you'd normally see in the "Star" category, but a 2.77 FIP in August and (even cooler) a 3.47 FIP over 23.2 innings at Erie is pretty nice for a strike thrower. Also cool: Wilk didn't show much of a split between lefties and righties while at Lakeland (going with the larger sample for that one). The bad news is that he's walking slightly more batters in AA (his BB/9 is up to 1.9 instead of at the 1.16 it was at Lakeland) but if he can get that back down, he's a great strike-throwing innings eater who could make The Show as a fourth or fifth starter.

SCRUB: Cale Iorg, SS, AAA Toledo

Even with his hot week or two at AAA Toledo, Iorg can't hit. He hit .242/.271/.409 at Toledo over two months and 66 at bats. But even worse was his AA line: .234/.258/.453 over 64 PA's in August and .239/.271/.380 in July. Ugh. I guess if you want to be positive, his strikeout rate dropped about 3 points in Toledo... to 28.6%... in less than 100 plate appearances.

STAR: Wade Gaynor, 3B, Low A West Michigan

Gaynor is a good reminder that I need to go back and look at my preseason predictions. Some were wildly off (Brennan Boesch) while others, like Gaynor, were pretty dead on. Anyways, Gaynor really turned it on in the second half of the season. In July, he hit .333/.390/.514. In August, he hit .319/.388/.478. That's pretty good. The problem lies with a high BABIP (.386 and .422 respectively) which probably isn't sustainable. But that could just be Gaynor taking advantage of weak pitching in A ball. I'd like to see him at Hi-A Lakeland next year, but third base is crowded in the low minors. He may be shifted to an outfield corner, but that's just speculation on my part.

SCRUB: Brian Holaday, C, High A Lakeland

This one is a bit unfair. Holaday got off to a hot start, and many praised him as catcher of the future based on a hot streak. But he regressed to .220/.335/.327 on the year. That's not his true talent level. He can be a strong backup catcher in the big leagues with his defense, and his bat was known for it's power in college, so expect that to come back. The problem with his overall numbers? An August where he hit .094/.179/.153. That's an issue with an extremely low BABIP (.125) which robbed him of tons of hits. He still has the potential to be a fast moving prospect, and I'd expect to see him backing up Alex Avila in 2012.

STAR: Scott Sizemore, 2B, AAA Toledo

FREE SCOTT SIZEMORE.

I really want to leave it at that, but I guess I should try to make a case for freeing him instead of just yelling slogans. That case begins and ends with the numbers. In July, Sizemore hit .319/.373/.574. In August, Sizemore hit .272/.382/.417. His strikeout rate jumped in August, but his walk rate went up with it. Essentially, Sizemore represents the highest upside at second base we have. And he's still managing to hit at AAA even though the organization has decided to jerk him around as much as possible (seriously, go look at his game log). The Tigers have mishandled Scott Sizemore, and it's almost criminal.

SCRUB: Ryan Strieby, DL, AAA Toledo

Ladies and gentlemen, the Carlos Guillen of the Toledo Mud Hens! (Thank you momotigers for the comparison). He still has the ability, he still has the plate vision. But his wrist needs time to heal. At this point, the Tigers are sending him to the AFL so he can injure his wrist some more to get some reps in. It's not going to be helpful, though, if he comes back to Detroit to rehab halfway through. Just shut him down, guys.

STAR: Brandon Douglas, INF, AA Erie

Douglas is a great choice for this list not only because of his performance, but because he spent most of the second half in Erie. So all I have to do is point at his Double-A line of .359/.405/.503 and his strikeout to walk ratio (17 K's to 11 BB's) over 159 AB's and smile. He has blemishes, not least of all the fact that he's a 25 year old tearing up AA. His numbers are also inflated by a high BABIP of .406 and he has problems hitting lefties. But even with all the blemishes, he still could play in the Bigs as a bat first utility infielder. I still like him, though he needs some AAA time next year.

SCRUB: Gustavo Nunez, SS, Low A West Michigan

I really think Nunez and Iorg need to get retired from these lists. It's just too easy to point at both of them and sigh. Gustavo's August was actually pretty good; he hit .261/.293/.351. So that's not good at all. But hey, by his standards it's okay. It sure beat his July (.216/.250/.278). Nunez hits the ball on the ground far too much and has no power. He also strikes out like no tomorrow (16.3% on the year). So, I'm sorry, Mr Nunez. But it's safe to say that you cannot hit.