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BP Top Prospects: Detroit Tigers

Minors : : General
Jason Parks        
Published: Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Listed below are the top 5 prospects in the Detroit Tigers organization as ranked by Jason Parks and Baseball Prospectus. To view the full feature, please visit this link.

Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Tigers list

The Top Ten

  1. 3B Nick Castellanos
  2. RHP Jonathon Crawford
  3. James McCann
  4. RHP Jake Thompson
  5. RHP Corey Knebel
  6. RHP Endrys Briceno
  7. RHP Drew VerHagen
  8. RF Steven Moya
  9. SS Eugenio Suarez
  10. 2B Harold Castro


1. Nick Castellanos

Position: 3B/LF
DOB: 03/04/1992
Height/Weight: 6’4” 210 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1
st round, 2010 draft, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Southwest Ranches, FL)
Previous Ranking: #1 (Org), #37 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: .278/.278/.278 at the major-league level (11 games), .276/.343/.450 at Triple-A (134 games)
The Tools: 6+ potential hit; 6 power potential; 6 arm

What Happened in 2013: As a 21-year-old, Castellanos played a full season of Triple-A baseball, working to refine his plus bat against more advanced pitching.

Strengths: Excellent hands at the plate; creates plus bat speed; has some leverage and lift; projects to hit for both average and power; strong arm; good athlete for size; aptitude for the game; some defensive versatility.

Weaknesses: Trigger can be a bit slow; swing can get long; struggles against quality arm-side velocity; some question the offensive projection (more solid-avg than impact); glove unlikely to play solid-avg at third; below-average profile in outfield corner.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Realistic Role: 5; major-league regular

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; ready for major-league challenge

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: With a move back to the hot corner potentially on the horizon, Castellanos’ fantasy value takes a nice tick up as the eligibility is much sexier there. Even if he does switch back to third, there’s always the chance that his defensive performance there warrants a return to the outfield. Regardless, if he hits to his full potential he could be a near-.300 hitter with 20-plus homers and a lot of RBIs (as he’s more likely to be in a run-producing slot in the lineup).

The Year Ahead: Of all the prospects in the minors, Castellanos might receive the most mixed reviews, as he’s either a top-20 talent with future 6/6 hit/power at the major-league level, or he’s just an average player, a top 50 prospect that has some ability with the bat but not nearly the impact talent some project. I’ve seen it and I like it, but I tend to fall in the middle of the two camps; I think Castellanos is going to hit for a high average but I’m not sold the power shows up in the 25-plus home run range without selling out the contact to achieve it. While I don’t see a future 6/6 type, I do think he develops into a solid-average major-league player, and if he can stick around at third, there is a lot of value to be found in that profile.

Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013

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