In last week’s Minor Accomplishments, I highlighted Mike Olt, his .304/.404/.576 slash line, and his 12 homers. Well, in only a week’s time Olt’s already-impressive numbers have became drastically more impressive. After blasting six more homers, he’s raised his SLG to .624 and his RBI total now sits at 48. He’s hotter than any hitter in the minors right now and he’s surely forcing the Rangers to consider their options regarding his future. We’ve discussed this plenty, but with Beltre locked up for the long term, Olt’s path to the majors as a 3B is thoroughly blocked. Frisco has been giving him some time at 1B, and given Mitch Moreland’s struggles, Texas could absolutely consider using him there. All along, however, I’ve looked at Olt as a valuable chip to be used in a potential trade. Recent uncertainties in the Rangers’ rotation have me thinking they’ll most certainly dangle Olt as trade bait in the coming months.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Billy Hamilton is the fastest player in the game. There’s really no disputing it, at this point. In his first 51 games at High-A, Hamilton has 60 steals. Over his last ten games, he’s been on a bit of a rampage, swiping 20 bags (!!!) and putting himself in position to surpass 100 steals before July. Now that’s just plain silly. Hamilton tallied 103 in a full season at Low-A Dayton in 2011, and people thought that was ridiculous. And while there’s no denying the truly remarkable nature of what he’s accomplishing this year, it’s important to keep in mind the other end of this equation: the opposing defenses. I absolutely believe that Hamilton is the fastest dude in baseball, at any level. That speed, however, is only being tested by A-Ball defenses. Pitchers are slower to the plate, catchers misfire to second, infielders are sloppy with tags. Watch any highlight reel of his, and you’ll see what I mean. Not to suggest that his wheels won’t translate as he climbs the ladder — he’ll be stealing plenty of bags when he arrives in the bigs with the Reds. But, don’t expect this kind of absurdity on the basepaths.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t think I saw an organizational ranking all off-season that didn’t have the White Sox dead last. Not that they deserve to be ranked higher – the Sox simply refuse to spend big money in the draft, and their presence in the Latin markets has been lacking of recent. The first month of the 2012 baseball season, however, has brought a bit of good news to the Southsiders, as former top prospect Jared Mitchell has reemerged as an elite outfielder in Double-A. Mitchell, who had a rough go at High-A in 2011 after missing all of 2010 with an ankle injury, has posted a .962 OPS through 28 games with Birmingham. He’s gathered 13 XBH and 6 SB within 120 PA. Mitchell’s hot start is greatly encouraging for a system in need of a boost.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I spend most of my time here focusing on prospects who’re nearing their big league debuts. Today, though, I’m gonna be discussing some guys a little further out. In these rankings, talent trumps all – although, I broke that rule a few times based on lack of experience (see Bundy, Sano, Starling).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Detroit Tigers 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (25) | 2010 (27) | 2009 (28) | 2008 (27) | 2007 (14) | 2006 (13) | 2005 (29) | 2004 (22)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [95-67] AL Central
AAA: [67-77] International League – Toledo
AA: [67-75] Eastern League – Erie
A+: [64-74] Florida State League – Lakeland
A: [70-69] Midwest League – West Michigan
A(ss): [39-35] New York Penn League – Connecticut
The Run Down
2011 didn’t deplete the Tigers pipeline too terribly, as most of their top guys are still around. Dan Schlereth had a nice year out of the bullpen for the Tigers, and a few others (Sizemore, Furbush) made impacts with other big league clubs after being traded. The shuffling, though, didn’t do much to alter the complexion of the farm system. Offensively, Detroit is pretty well set for 2012. There could be a void in left field if Delmon Young signs elsewhere, but I imagine they’d try to fill that slot with an impact bat via free agency, rather than through their system. The Tigers will, however, have an opening in their starting rotation. And while it appears that top prospect Jacob Turner has a firm grip on that role, there are a number of promising starters in Detroit’s minor leagues and it isn’t fair to rule anyone out just yet.Please, blog, may I have some more?