Ranking The Detroit Tigers' Top 10 Prospects Heading Into 2015

By Brad Faber

Ranking The Detroit Tigers' Top 10 Prospects

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past year or so, there have been a few grumblings about how the Detroit Tigers' farm system is in less than stellar shape. Seeing as how the Tigers have now traded Willy Adames, Devon Travis, Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, one might think that the club's farm system has been even further depleted. Nevertheless, the Tigers still have several promising young players, and here are 10 prospects who may be making an impact very soon.

10. Derek Hill

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10. Derek Hill

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The Tigers used their 2014 first-round pick to select center fielder Derek Hill out of Elk Grove HS in California. The 18-year-old Hill only slashed a combined .208/.296/.295 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in stops in Rookie Ball and Low-A Connecticut through 47 games in 2014, but one should obviously not be fooled by that sample size. Hill has already drawn comparisons to Torii Hunter, so look for him to continue to mature and improve.

9. Dixon Machado

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9. Dixon Machado

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With the departure of middle infield prospects Adames and Travis, 22-year-old shortstop Dixon Machado may be poised to move up a bit on the radar. In 2014, he hit a combined .286/.375/.404 with six homers and 40 RBIs in stops in Class-A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie. He has continually drawn praise for his defense as well. While the Tigers do seem to have their shortstop of the future in Jose Iglesias, Machado should be a fun guy to watch.

8. Austin Kubitza

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8. Austin Kubitza

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In 2013, the Tigers selected Austin Kubitza out of Rice University in the fourth round. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound righty had a phenomenal season in Class-A West Michigan, hurling to the tune of a 10-2 record, 2.34 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched. Having just turned 23 years of age, he is still very young and could have a very bright future ahead of him with the Tigers' organization.

7. Jonathon Crawford

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7. Jonathon Crawford

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Jonathon Crawford, who the Tigers drafted in the first round out of the University of Florida in 2013, joined Kubitza in putting up a tremendous season for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014. The now 23-year-old Crawford went 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, giving Tigers fans much to be excited about in the years that lie ahead.

6. Robbie Ray

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6. Robbie Ray

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Although Robbie Ray posted just a 1-4 record with an 8.16 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in nine games for the Tigers in 2014, the 23-year-old may still have a bright future in Detroit. Ray, who was widely considered to be the centerpiece of the Doug Fister trade, had a nice run in the Arizona Fall League and may find himself in the mix for a spot in the Tigers' rotation next spring along with Kyle Lobstein, Kyle Ryan and perhaps Buck Farmer.

5. Kevin Ziomek

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5. Kevin Ziomek

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The Tigers drafted left-handed pitcher Kevin Ziomek out of Vanderbilt University in the second round of the 2013 draft. He, too, turned quite a few heads while playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014, going 10-6 with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with 152 strikeouts in 123 innings pitched. Look for him to continue to rise through the Tigers' farm system at a steady pace.

4. Hernan Perez

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4. Hernan Perez

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Tigers fans have known about Hernan Perez for quite a while now. Perez signed with the Tigers way back in 2007, and he has spent cameos with the big league club in each of the past three seasons. In 2014, Perez had a very nice year in Triple-A Toledo, slashing .287/.331/.404 with six home runs, 53 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. The soon-to-be 24-year-old doesn't appear to have much else to prove in the minors.

3. Tyler Collins

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3. Tyler Collins

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In 2011, the Tigers selected outfielder Tyler Collins out of Howard College in the sixth round. The now 24-year-old Collins has proven to be a gritty combination of speed and power. The lefty slugger hit .263 with 18 home runs while stealing 12 bases in Triple-A Toledo in 2014. He also hit 21 home runs in Double-A in 2013 and stole 20 bases in Single-A back in 2012. It seems that he may be ready to fill a platoon role for the Tigers in 2015.

2. James McCann

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2. James McCann

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The Tigers selected catcher James McCann out of the University of Arkansas in the second round of the 2011 draft. In 2014, McCann put together his best season in the minors to date, slashing .295/.343/.427 with seven home runs and 54 RBIs while throwing out 42 percent of would-be basestealers. The Tigers seem to have high hopes for McCann, and many feel that he may be on track to have a role with the big club in 2015.

1. Steven Moya

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1. Steven Moya

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In 2014, 23-year-old Steven Moya had a breakthrough season in Double-A Erie, slashing .276/.306/.555 with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs. He did, however, strike out 161 times, and his .306 OBP was a bit on the low side. The Tigers seem to be very fond of Moya, though, and he could eventually become the thunderous left-handed bat that they have desperately needed.

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