Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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The SeaWolves had some top notch prospect talent in their midst in 2011. Here were the outliers
Jacob Turner – Don’t let the 3-5 record fool you, Turner had a nice season. He didn’t turn 20 until May yet he still sported a 90/32 strikeout to walk ratio in 113 1/3 innings (he also pitched solid in three starts for Toledo). He finished with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.22 groundball to flyball ratio. Turner could start the season in the Tigers rotation so it’ll be interesting to see if the Tigers pick someone up in free agency and let Turner refine his craft at Toledo or whether he makes the big league club’s rotation.
Casey Crosby – Walks were an issue but Crosby struck out almost a batter an inning (121 strikeouts in 131 2/3 innings) in 25 starts. He turned 23 so he’s still young enough to be considered a prospect and he finished with a 4.10 ERA. He also had a nice campaign in the Arizona Fall League with a 1.32 ERA in eleven relief appearances. The 77 walks concerns me though. Still, he’s also an extreme ground ball pitcher so that helps limit his damage even if he’s putting on baserunners.
Chance Ruffin – Ruffin led the team in saves with 10 and he had a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings for the SeaWolves. Even better, he had a really nice 43/16 strikeout to walk ratio. He struggled in his major league time but he’s only 23 so he should be able to secure a spot in the Tigers pen if he can keep the ball down. He is the opposite of Crosby and he gives up a lot of fly balls. Those turned into home runs (four in 17 2/3 innings) when he was with the Tigers.
It was a rough year for the SeaWolves as they finished near the bottom of the Eastern League East division. There were a few stand outs at the plate though. Let’s take a look…
Justin Henry – The outfielder looks like a solid table setter although there’s not much power there. In 376 at bats, he didn’t hit a single home run but he lead the regulars with an .814 OPS. He has a really nice 52/62 strikeout to walk ratio and that equated to a .410 OBP. He’s past prospectdom (he’ll be 27 in April) but he ‘s having a solid season down in the Venzuelan Winter League so it’ll be interesting where Henry fits in.
Jamie Johnson – Johnson led the team in runs (93) and doubles (33) but like Henry, there’s not a ton of power and Johnson’s OBP was almost as high as his slugging. He’s a little younger but he’s still going to be 25 in April. Time is running short for him so hopefully he can step things up and maybe get a look if he plays well at Toledo next year.
Rawley Bishop – The first baseman led the team in home runs with 10 and RBIs with 67. To call him a masher is a stretch because he had a slugging of just .396 but that was amongst the team’s best. He also led the team in strikeouts in 106.
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