Triple A Toledo
Who's hot …
Buck Farmer, RH starter: Could easily be making the commute from Fifth Third Field to Comerica Park as a starter in 2015 as his repertoire, which is more of a definitive power package, takes on polish at Toledo. Farmer is 3-0 for the Mud Hens with a 1.10 WHIP and a .196 opposing batting average. He has struck out 28 batters in 21 innings and walked 10. Farmer, who is 6-4, 225, is 24 and was drafted in the fifth round (Georgia Tech) in 2013.
Xavier Avery, OF: Avery signed with the Tigers last November as a minor-league free agent after spending most of his career in the Orioles system, which included a 32-game stint with the big club in 2012. Avery, 25, plays left field for the Mud Hens and in 14 games is batting .333. He bats left-handed, stands 6-foot, and weighs 190.
Daniel Fields, OF: Has cooled off only by comparison to his mid-April bust-out. Fields, 24, is batting .324 in his last 10 games. His 14-game OPS: .976. Fields is a product of University of Detroit Jesuit High.
Dixon Machado, SS: Still hitting well, and playing well, a player who might be the Tigers' top position prospect is batting .308 on the season. Machado is 23 and bats right-handed. He signed with the Tigers out of Venezuela in 2008.
And who's not …
Jason Krizan, OF: Had a nice spring camp and impressed his bosses, but the bat hasn't cooperated since Krizan came north: .151 in 15 games. Krizan, 25, is 6-foot, 185, bats left-handed, and was an eighth-round grab in 2011 (Dallas Baptist).
Rafael Dolis, RH reliever: Another young arm the Tigers like, which is why they signed him last November as a minor-league free agent. But the strike zone has haunted him during a tough April at Toledo: 6.43 ERA, with 11 walks in seven innings.
Double A Erie
Who's hot …
Austin Kubitza, RH starter: Doesn't overwhelm hitters, but puts them away, with heavy help from a blessed slider. Kubitza after three starts: 1.20 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, with 15 strikeouts in 15 innings. He has also walked nine. Kubitza, 23, is 6-5, 225, and in 2013 was a fourth-round pick (Rice University).
Corey Jones, 3B: Big first month for Jones, a seventh-round snag (Cal-Fullerton) in 2010. Jones in 15 games is batting .333, with an .826 OPS. He is 6-foot, 205, bats left-handed and is 27.
And who's not …
Connor Harrell, OF: April can be rugged on hitters, particularly guys from the South. Harrell, a native Texan who played at Vanderbilt, is batting .178 in 13 games. He is 6-3, 215, and was a seventh-round pick in 2013.
Brennan Smith, RH reliever: All kinds of problems this month for Smith: 12.38 ERA in six games, with a .313 opposing batting average and 2.25 WHIP. Smith, 25, was a 33rd-round pick in 2010 (Bowling Green).
Single A Lakeland
Who's hot …
Ben Verlander, OF: His brother might be ailing, but Ben's cruising through the early weeks at Lakeland: .385 in 12 games, with a .442 on-base percentage and 1.032 OPS. Ben is built along the lines of his brother: 6-4, 200. He bats right-handed and was snared in the 14th round in 2013 out of Old Dominion.
Dominic Ficociello, 1B: Tigers always liked Ficociello, drafting him out of high school and then again (12th round) during his junior year at Arkansas. In his last 10 games, Ficociello (6-4, 205, switch-hitter) is batting .375.
Kevin Ziomek, LH starter: Had one off-key start, but Ziomek, who is one of the Tigers' better starting pitching prospects, has been steady at Erie through four games: 3.22 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 25 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. He is 23 and was the Tigers' second-round pick (Vanderbilt) in 2013.
Tommy Collier, RH starter: Flying Tigers have some pitching in 2015. Collier's numbers through three starts: 1.00 ERA, .094 WHIP, 17 strikeouts and a lone walk in 18 innings. Collier was a 22nd-round pick (San Jacinto Community College) in 2011.
Confesor Lara, RH reliever: Five games, 11 1/3 innings: seven hits, 16 strikeouts, three walks. Lara, 24, was signed in 2010 out of Bani, Dominican Republic.
Zac Reininger, RH reliever: Another reason why Lakeland's bullpen has been generally trustworthy. Reininger, 22, and an eighth-round pick in 2013 (Hill Junior College) has worked in five games for the SeaWolves and has yet to allow a run. Nine innings, five hits, five strikeouts, two unintentional walks.
Joe Rogers, LH reliever: Five games, eight innings: four hits, six strikeouts, one walk. Rogers has yet to allow a run and has a 0.63 WHIP. He is 6-1, 205, and was a fifth-round pick in 2012 (Central Florida).
Single A West Michigan
Who's hot …
Will Maddox, 1B: .395, with an .864 OPS, in 13 games for Maddox, who was an 18th-round pick in 2014 (Tennessee). Maddox, 22, is 5-10, 180, and bats left-handed.
Michael Gerber, RF: Tigers got him in the 15th round in 2014 (Creighton) and have steadily liked his bat. Gerber, in 18 games for the Whitecaps: .323, .792 OPS, with one home run and two doubles. He is 6-2, 175, and bats left-handed.
Austin Schotts, OF: A better season brewing for Schotts, 21, who was the Tigers' third-round pick in 2012: .343 in his last 10 games, .316 on the season. He is 5-11, 180, and bats right-handed.
Trent Szkutnik, LH starter: He's from Jackson, pitched at Michigan, and was a 20th-round pick by the Tigers last June. In three starts for the Whitecaps, Szkutnik, has a 1-0 record, a 0.94 WHIP, and a .190 opposing batting average, spanning 17 innings. He is 6-foot, 195.
Spencer Turnbull, RH starter: Second-round Tigers pick in 2014 has started about as expected for the Whitecaps: Three starts, 2.70 ERA, .130 opposing batting average, 1.02 WHIP. Turnbull, 22, is 6-3, 215.
Johan Belisario, RH reliever: Six games, 8 2/3 innings, 1.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .233 opposing batting average. Belisario, 21, is 5-11, 165, from Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.