Tigers minor-league report: Green raking at Toledo

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Triple A Toledo

Dean Green

Who’s hot …

Dean Green, 1B/DH: Simply hamstrung by his position, or lack thereof, which is why a man batting .400 in his last 10 games and .333 (.with a .933 OPS) in 34 games with the Mud Hens isn’t in the mix for a call-up. And why, unless he somehow works his way onto the 40-man roster, he won’t be added when big-league add-ons can be brought to Detroit in September. Green has 21 home runs on the year (includes 69 games at Double A Erie) and carries a season .353 on-base percentage. He is 27, bats left-handed, and is 6-foot-4, 255 pounds. The Tigers drafted him out of Barry University in 2011 (11th round).

Dixon Machado, SS: On one of his patented hot streaks, which often follows a cold spell, Machado is tuning up for a near-certain September summons from the Tigers by hitting .367 in his last 10 games. On the year, Machado, 24, is batting .260, with a .692 OPS.

And who’s not …

JaCoby Jones, CF: This wasn’t in Jones’ or the Tigers’ plans. He was batting .176 in his last 10 games before getting three hits Sunday for the Mud Hens. Since arriving in Toledo to grand expectations in June, he’s hitting only .231 in 58 games. The Tigers expect a turnaround, and it would behoove Jones to initiate it soon. A team is making tentative plans for 2017 and Jones, 24, who can cover nearly an entire outfield thanks to his range, at one time was expected to be part of it. Jones, a right-handed swinger, is 6-2, 205, and was the Tigers’ award for dealing reliever Joakim Soria to the Pirates in July, 2015.

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Double A Erie

Who’s hot …

Jason Krizan, OF: Earned a promotion to Toledo by hitting.366 in his last 10 games before Sunday, which is comforting given the highs (Erie) and lows (Toledo, 10 games, .219) of Krizan’s 2016 season. He’s 27 and running out of time but is batting .290 in 94 games with the SeaWolves. Krizan, who bats left-handed, was an eighth-round pick in 2011 (Dallas Baptist). Erie called up power-hitting mChristin Stewart from Lakeland to replace Krizan.

And who’s not …

Harold Castro, 2B: Not a good August, nor has it been a good season, for Castro, 22, who is batting .167 in his last 10 games and .240 (.587 OPS) in 2016. He was signed as a teen out of Caracas, Venezuela, and has, at times, shown luster. But not much of it on display this year.

Single A Lakeland

Who’s hot …

Kade Scivicque, C: .375 in his last 10 games. That’s telling when summers in the Florida State League are like spending weeks in a hot-box, especially for catchers who can wear to a frazzle. Scivicque as a fourth-round pick in 2015 (LSU) and bats right-handed. For the year at Lakeland: .274, with a .670 OPS.

Matt Hall, LH starter: Adjusting niftily to high-Class A after his blazing early months at West Michigan. Since arriving in Lakeland, Hall, 23, is 3-1, with a 2.77 ERA in eight games and seven starts. He has struck out 35 in 39 innings, and also has been guilty of 18 walks. Hall was a sixth-round grab in 2015 (Missouri State). He is 6-foot, 200, and his not-so-secret weapon is a very fine curveball.

And who’s not …

A.J. Simcox, SS: .128 in his last 10 games. The Florida State League is no friend to most prospects (the heat and grind are uniquely challenging) and Simcox, a 14th-round pick in 2015 (Tennessee) might be a recent example.

Single A West Michigan

Who’s hot …

Shane Zeile, C: Just needs to stay healthy. Zeile, who is hitting . 344 in his last 10 games, is a good bet to have a breakthrough season in 2017 — if he can avoid the disabled list. The Tigers got this right-handed hitting UCLA product in 2014 with their fifth-round pick. He is 6-1, 195, and is the son of ex-big-leaguer Todd Zeile.

And who’s not …

Cam Gibson, OF: .167 in his last 10 games, which is how it goes in professional baseball, and often times for players in their first full season in the minors. Gibson’s bat is expected to develop. He was a fifth-round pick in 2015 (Michigan State) and bats left-handed.

Single A Connecticut

Who’s hot …

Daniel Pinero, SS: He was the Tigers’ ninth-round pick (University of Virginia) in June and has started snappily: .387 in his last 10 games. Pinero was born in Toronto, is 22, bats right-handed, and is on the large side for a shortstop: 6-5, 210.

Joey Havrilak, OF: If you’re 24, you can get a jump on some of the New York-Penn League’s young pitchers. But that doesn’t discredit Havrilak’s start for the Tigers: He’s batting .432 in his last 10 games and .284 on the year (40 games), with an .822 OPS. He’s 24, swings left-handed, and is 6-1, 195. The Tigers drafted him in the 18th round in 2015 (Akron).

Mark Ecker, RH reliever: Hasn’t been fair, Ecker vs. opposing batters since he was given his Connecticut orders after signing with the Tigers in June. Ecker has thrown 16 innings in 10 games with Connecticut and has been responsible for these casualties: 18 strikeouts, two walks, five hits. He was a fifth-round pick by the Tigers after putting together some lovely work at Texas A&M.

And who’s not …

Tanner Donnels, 1B: .111 in his last 10 and .197 in 36 games since he arrived at Connecticut. Donnels was a 21st-round pick in 2015 (Loyola Marymount).

Gulf Coast League East

Who’s hot …

Francisco German, RH starter: Needs to brush up on the strike zone, but at 19, it’s German’s arm that matters. He has struck out 33 in 31 innings while allowing 25 hits. Too many walks (14) but this 6-2, 160-pound Dominican Republic product has time on his side.

And who’s not …

Luis Torrealba, OF: Not a time for worries as teenagers acclimate to the GCL. Torrealba is 19, in his first year of baseball in the United States, and so the Tigers will nod and acknowledge that batting .050 in your last 10 games isn’t unheard of, nor is a .138 batting average in 23 games any reason to panic. Torrealba is a switch batter, is 6-1, 175, and was signed out of Quibor, Venezuela.

Gulf Coast League West

Who’s hot …

Jose Vasquez, RH starter: Has had a couple of bruises, but otherwise a nice summer for Vasquez, 20, a 6-foot, 175-pound prospect from Venezuela: seven games (six starts) for GCL West, 34 innings, 30 hits, 28 Ks, six walks, which is how you have a 1.06 WHIP.

And who’s not …

Julio Martinez, OF: He’s 18, so, again, no one in the developmental offices is losing sleep over a .111 batting average in his last 10 games or a .190 average in the 24 games in which Martinez has labored. He’s 6-2, 195, swings right-handed, and was signed out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

lynn.henning@detroitnews.com

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