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Lakeland Flying Tigers Season Preview

How will the Florida State League affiliate of the Tigers fare in 2014?


Lakeland has an interesting pitching corps in 2014, and should see a couple of graduations from West Michigan as well. However, the offense is going to be lackluster at best. There will be a lot of pitcher's duels. Here is the full roster, if you're interested.

Endrys Briceno- I am a huge Briceno fan, and for good reason. He's long, lean, projectable, and has outstanding life on his FB. I'll go a bit deeper into discussion on him when I come out with the top six prospects still left to rank, but definitely keep an eye on him. I'd like to see his results improve a bit, although I'm still not all that concerned, and would also hope that he can maintain a regular workload of 140 or so innings.

Edgar De la Rosa- Giant human. Mechanics often out of whack. This may be his last hurrah in the rotation. I think he's better off in the pen, pumping mid 90s FB's by people. Could be on the fast track to Detroit in the pen. He's a real long shot as a starter.

Jordan John- touch and feel lefty who has added a tick to his FB this winter. MLB average curveball, and the CH may catch up. He's a college guy, so I'd hope to see him toy with low minors hitters and get a shot at AA next season, or for the playoff run.

Guido Knudson- 93-95 with a decent slider, he may be able to pitch in the big leagues in a 6th inning role one day. Has been a bit up and down, but has been getting people out his entire career. Relievers typically bloom a bit later.

Jake Thompson- potential top 100 prospect here soon. Jake has the pitching IQ, mound poise, body, and the stuff to be a 3/4 starter. His floor is relatively high, and he's got three really solid pitches at this point. His FB works anywhere from 90-93 at the beginning of games with good life and sink, and he's got a current plus slider, with a major lg average curveball, with potential for more. The change up looked much better this spring, and although he didn't use it much in his first start, the developmental path has just begun.

Dixon Machado- same story, different year. Needs to add strength and develop an approach. Can certainly field, and has a cannon, but I just don't think the bat ever plays.

Connor Harrell- extremely good athlete. Has some pop at the plate. More of a mistake hitter at this point. Should be a good challenge for him. Can play all 3 OF positions. Potential 4th OF.

Thanks to Hueytaxi for the photo