Tigers farm system not producing necessary position players
Not, anyway, when it comes to the homegrown players who are going to fill out the Tigers' opening day roster.
The Tigers had three choices to fill the second base spot with Carlos Guillen still on the mend.
Of those three - Will Rhymes, Scott Sizemore and Danny Worth - who projects as a long-term major league regular? I don't think of any of them do. Although I do see some upside with Worth, I wouldn't exactly say he is a high-ceiling prospect.
As for the outfield, Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch and Casper Wells are likely 4-A players. They are all in their mid-20s. Any impact they have will likely be short-term. Other organizations are not clamoring for prospects like this.
Now, I do think the Tigers have a couple high-ceiling position player prospects. Outfielder Daniel Fields has a chance to be a great player. It has been vastly underrated what he did last year as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. It was as impressive what third baseman Francisco Martinez accomplished at the same age at Lakeland.
And it was encouraging the Tigers took a high-ceiling position player with their first pick in the draft last year, third baseman Nick Castellanos.
But for too many years, the Tigers have been drafting college position players with limited tools. So while the Tigers have done a good job of instructing them in the minor leagues, and they have had some impact upon arrival to the major leagues, they haven't been able to sustain it because of limited tools.
The Tigers have done well taking power pitchers early in the draft, but have otherwise relied too much on college relievers and low-ceiling college position players. Now, I have nothing against college players being drafted, but it's still about tools and what that player ultimately can do in the major leagues.
Is there enough there that he can be a long-range major league regular? Not a backup. Not a stop-gap. Not a spring phenom. Not a 4-A player.
But a legitimate every day regular? When was the last time the Tigers developed a position player that fit that description?