As unpleasant as giving up Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson is, the Tigers did manage to net themselves a handful of players who will be able to help in 2010. For the most part these aren’t prospects where fans need to hope that they pan out. The Tigers added a starting pitcher, 2 bullpen arms, and hopefully a centerfielder for the near future.
Max Scherzer is headliner of the group and he will take over Edwin Jackson’s spot in the rotation. Scherzer is a year younger than Jackson, but with only a year and a half of service time he won’t reach free agency until the 2015 season. The righty was Arizona’s top pick in the 2006 draft.
In 2009 Scherzer fanned better than a batter an inning and his 3.87 FIP was impressive. He’s a fastball (94ish), slider (84ish), change-up pitcher (85ish). Even if ‘09 was a breakout year for Jackson, Scherzer’s year was better.
Plus Scherzer is sabermetrically inclined so that should be fun.
Scherzer image credit: tunnelarmr on Flickr
If Scherzer was the centerpiece in exchange for Edwin Jackson, then Austin Jackson was the key piece coming over for Granderson. The Tigers new centerfielder hit 300/354/404 as a 22 year old at AAA. Jackson rates very well amongst many prospect watchers:
- MLB.com ranked him as the 27th best prospect in baseball going into 2009.
- Baseball America ranked him as the Yankees best prospect, best athlete, and best defensive outfielder going into 2009.
- Kevin Goldstein ranked him a 5 star prospect and second in the Yankees system heading into 2009
In terms of development it sounds like Jackson has room to add power, which he’ll need to do as he isn’t a pure burner. He’d probably rank in the top 3 now in terms of Tigers prospects.
In addition to grabbing the Diamondbacks 2006 top draft pick, they also got their 1st rounder from 2008 in Daniel Schlereth. Schlereth has a 93-94mph fastball and a 79mph curveball and the lefty will be pitching exclusively out of the pen. He’ll strike out a lot of guys, but he’ll also walk way too many. He appeared in 21 games and pitched 18.1 innings in 2009.
Kevin Goldstein rated him as a 4 star prospect after the 2008 season. Baseball America releases their Diamondback’s Top 10 on Wednesday, but Schlereth rated as the 3rd best prospect in their system last year.
Phil Coke is another lefty bullpen arm (that’s 3 that the Tigers have picked up in 2 days). To clarify though, Coke pitched out of the Yankees bullpen last year but has been primarily a starter in the minors. With the deal not done in the most official of senses Dombrowski hasn’t commented on what role he sees for for Coke in 2010.
Baseball America rated Coke as the Yankees 8th best prospect heading into 2009, but at 27 there probably isn’t much room for him to improve at this point.