Tigers sport pair of top prospects on list

DETROIT — Good thing the Detroit Tigers’ major league roster is in solid shape, because the minor league system isn’t robust.

At least that’s what can be inferred by the Tigers having only two of the top 100 prospects in baseball, as ranked by mlb.com.

Third baseman-turned-outfielder Nick Castellanos is No. 21 on the list, and prospective Tigers closer Bruce Rondon is No. 92.

Castellanos “can flat-out hit, adjusting extremely well to any and all pitching,” wrote Jonathan Mayo of mlb.com. “He drives the ball to all fields and while he hasn’t shown too much in the way of home run power to date, there is definitely pop in his bat that will come. Castellanos started his pro career as a third baseman and could have been an average defender there, but he moved to the outfield in 2012, largely to find the quickest path to the big leagues for his bat. There isn’t a spot waiting for him just yet, but don’t be surprised if he hits his way into Detroit’s plans in the near future.”

“Rondon has one of the best fastballs in the Minors, touching triple digits regularly with good life,” writes Mayo. “He combines it with a hard, biting slider and shows a decent fading changeup as well. All of that has enabled the big right-hander to strike out nearly 10 per nine innings as a professional. He improved his command in 2012 as he finished third in the Minors in saves and he’ll have to continue to be around the strike zone more if he wants to continue in that role long-term.”

Every team had at least one of the top 100 prospects. The Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals tied for the most, with six apiece.

The Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers had the fewest, with just one each.

Note: The Tigers’ spring exhibition against the Philadelphia Phillies on March 27 in Lakeland, Fla., will be televised by ESPN. The game starts at 1 p.m. and will be called by Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin and Doug Glanville.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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