Baseball America came out with its latest list of the Tigers' top 10 prospects Wednesday morning, and it appeared to have a serious and possibly accidental oversight.
Turns out, it didn't. Writer Josh Norris stands by his decision to leave right-hander reliever Joe Jimenez off the rankings.
This past season, Jimenez, 21, jumped from Single-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo and even was seriously considered a candidate to join the Tigers' beleaguered bullpen in September.
In Baseball America's rankings in January, Jimenez was No. 7 for the Tigers, and that was before he took the minor leagues by storm.
"Perplexing," said Emily Waldon, Tigers minor-league analyst for 2080ball. "Joe is basically the biggest thing next to JaCoby Jones, as far as MLB-ready talent."
Tigers general manager Al Avila, who like most baseball executives doesn't pay much mind to media-generated rankings, had little reaction.
"I don't know," he said. "Not something I have any influence on."
With an electric fastball and a blossoming slider, Jimenez was 3-3 with a 1.51 ERA, and 78 strikeouts in 53.2 innings, to just 17 walks. He had 30 saves, allowed just 26 hits, and had a WHIP of 0.801. He pitched in the Futures Game in July.
"Essentially, these lists are subjective," said James Chipman, a Tigers' prospect analyst, based in Lakeland. "There's no right or wrong answers in the realm of prospecting. That being said, the omission of Joe Jimenez in a Tigers top-10 prospect list is perplexing to say the least."
As for the top 10, the Tigers' first-round pick from June, prep right-hander Matt Manning, was listed No. 1.
The rest of the list looks like this: outfielder Christin Stewart, right-hander Beau Burrows, left-hander Tyler Alexander, right-hander Kyle Funkhouser, outfielder/third baseman Jones, outfielder Mike Gerber, right-hander Adam Ravenelle, outfielder Steven Moya and outfielder Derek Hill.
Here's a breakdown of Norris' top-10 list.