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Tigers Prospect Review: Buck Farmer, Mike Gerber pave the way with hot starts

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Taking a look back at who produced and who exceeded expectation inside the Tigers' minor league affiliates for the first month of the season.

Emily Waldon / Bless You Boys

Much like their big brother, the Tigers' minor league organizations have experienced a roller-coaster start to the regular season, but the level of talent throughout the system is something truly special. An attempt to shrink the group of standouts in the month of April to a handful was easier said than done. That being the case, we handpicked a selection of some of the notable talent and we want to hear from you. Who is your top choice for the first month of the season?

Buck Farmer (Triple-A Toledo)

The work ethic of righthander Buck Farmer speaks for itself. Farmer blew expectations out of the water in 2014 and jumped the fast track to Comerica in a matter of months. In 2015, Farmer has been unmatched in his strikeout production, currently leading the league with 47, scattered over 38 innings of work. After last night's win over Rochester, Farmer is 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA.

Michael Gerber (Single-A West Michigan)

As the year prepared to unfold, the Whitecaps outfielder set a goal for himself. "My biggest goal coming into this season was to become more consistent at the plate and to improve my base running," Gerber said. Crediting mental growth and the guidance of West Michigan Hitting Coach Phil Clark, Gerber strung together a 13-game streak of offense at the plate for West Michigan. "Phil has taught me a lot already. He has really helped me with learning to maintain my swing," Gerber said. Through 32 games, the 22-year-old is batting .364/.397/.508, leading the team in hits (43), homeruns (2) and RBI (25).

Jeff McVaney (Double-A Erie)

After rushing for 2,000 yards as a high school three-year varsity running back and receiving scholarship offers from several notable universities, where would you move forward? Well, to Erie outfielder Jeff McVaney, he chose the path less traveled and it has paid off. Through the first week of May, the 25-year-old is leading the Seawolves in hits (35), doubles (9), triples (2) and is second in RBI (13), batting .333 through just over a month of regular season play.

Ben Verlander (Advanced-A Lakeland)

Following a season split between West Michigan and Connecticut in 2014, Verlander entered this season with something to prove. The offense of the 23-year-old made quick work in the month of April, tagging opposing pitching for an eight-game hit streak, contributing to his 24 hits month to date. The left fielder is ranking top three with the Flying Tigers in eight individual categories, including runs (11), doubles (3) and RBI (10), all while maintaining a .418 SLG and batting .304.