The Tigers' farm system may not be brimming with premier talent like the Chicago Cubs, but there have been some solid performances among the organization's top prospects in 2014. Here's a look at how the second set of prospects on our list have fared. Remember, take some of the numbers here -- especially the pitchers -- with a grain of salt. Some guys may be focusing on certain aspects of their game. While results are important, development is the name of the game in the minor leagues.
Note: All stats are through Sunday, July 6th.
11. Kevin Ziomek, LHP
Ziomek has had a solid season for Single-A West Michigan, ranking among the top 20 pitchers in the Midwest League in wins, ERA, and strikeout rate. The Vanderbilt product has 81 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings this year, but is walking 4.72 batters per nine innings. He has held left-handed hitters in check, limiting them to a .528 OPS and just one home run this year. Righties are hitting .215 with a .301 slugging average, but a 13.2 percent walk rate has resulted in a .329 on-base percentage. He has also been working on some of the more cerebral aspects of the game.
12. Drew VerHagen, RHP
VerHagen has done nothing but get ground ball outs since being drafted by the Tigers, and 2014 has been no different. International League hitters are hitting grounders at a 52 percent clip off VerHagen and have only hit four home runs in 98 innings. While his strikeout rate is essentially non-existent, he has been extremely efficient. He is averaging 6 1/3 innings in his last 11 starts, a solid number considering he has only thrown 100 pitches in two of those outings. VerHagen's secondary pitches still need work, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him in Detroit later this year.
13. Daniel Fields, OF
Between a slow start in Triple A and a broken hand that shelved him for almost two months, 2014 has been a season to forget for Fields. He has a .284 on-base percentage and 39 strikeouts in just 134 plate appearances for Toledo this year, and is currently on a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League. Fields was assigned to the minors quite early in Spring Training, and his rough first half has not helped his case to be called up when rosters expand in September.
14. Harold Castro, IF
For the second consecutive season, 20 year old Harold Castro has been promoted aggressively despite rarely seeing game action. He has just 143 plate appearances in 35 total games played between West Michigan and Lakeland this year, but a BABIP-fueled hot streak in Lakeland has given him some fairly impressive numbers. It made sense that Javier Betancourt and Willy Adames got more playing time than Castro in West Michigan given their numbers. However, the decision to continue playing Curt Powell over a red-hot Castro in Lakeland is a bit puzzling given Castro's higher ceiling, even with concerns about his makeup.
15. Devon Travis, 2B
Travis has held his own in Double A this season, but has not even come close to duplicating the gaudy numbers he put up at West Michigan and Lakeland last year. His plate discipline has waned as well, measured by a decline in walk rate from over nine percent last season to just 6.5 percent in 2014. While he hasn't been "exposed" by any means, Travis needs to hit -- and I mean hit -- in the minors if he is going to be a regular big leaguer.
16. Jeff Thompson, RHP
Thompson was scratched from a start for the West Michigan Whitecaps on April 21st and has not pitched again in 2014. He was placed on the minor league disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis and has been rehabbing in Lakeland.
17. Joe Jimenez, RHP
Jordan blew up Jimenez back in late February, stating that he "has the potential for two plus pitches, and an average one." Unfortunately, Jimenez hasn't gotten a chance to start yet. Instead, he has been Connecticut's de facto closer, where he is striking out nearly half of the batters he faces. He currently has a 7.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Eight innings is an extremely small sample, but it once again looks as if the 19 year old is a men among boys at his current level. Let's hope this continues.
18. Javier Betancourt, IF
Betancourt doesn't have the eye-popping numbers of teammate Willy Adames, but hitting .272 with a low strikeout rate in full season ball as a 19 year old is impressive in itself. He probably won't develop much power -- Jordan pegged him as a gap hitter at best -- but the bat-to-ball skills are showing in his overall numbers.
19. Austin Schotts, OF
Are we allowed to say that Austin Schotts is still really young? An injury derailed the first two months of his season, but not much else has changed. After fizzling out in Single A ball last season with a 41 wRC+, Schotts has made strides at the plate in 2014. However, he still has a ways to go, as his low walk rate, high strikeout rate, and awful on-base percentage suggest.
20. Melvin Mercedes, RHP
While Corey Knebel has a higher ceiling and brighter future than Mercedes, the fact that the former was called up to the majors over the latter in 2014 is a bad sign for the big Dominican right-hander. Mercedes' bowling-ball fastball isn't missing any bats at Triple A, but the improvements in command he displayed in 2013 have stuck around this year.