Tigers Prospects Dry Up After Arizona Fall League

Note: This article first appeared on ESPN.com’s SweetSpot blog today.

When the Tigers traded Scott Sizemore to the A’s over Memorial Day Weekend, it brought an abrupt and mildly startling end to his tenure as Detroit’s second baseman of the future. The Tigers, after all, anointed him as the heir apparent to Placido Polanco almost immediately after they lost Game 163 to the Twins in 2009.

Polanco was eligible for arbitration, which coincided with the Tigers’ momentary spending freeze, and soon he was back with the Phillies doing everything fans in Detroit had come accustomed to: steadiness in the field, reliability at the plate.

But back to Sizemore. The Tigers sent him to the Arizona Fall League – “a graduate school” for top prospects, according to the AFL Media Guide – in 2007 and again in ‘09 in what they undoubtedly expected to be a final tuneup before handing over the keys to second base to him for the foreseeable future.

Within days of the 2009 AFL season, Sizemore’s ankle was broken as he attempted to turn a double play and his fall league experience went kaput. It didn’t stop the Tigers from hoping that he could recover in time for spring training.

Fast forward to May 27 when he was dealt to Oakland for David Purcey (himself an AFL graduate) and the book was closed on Sizemore’s career in Detroit: 65 games, a .223 average, .605 OPS and a mere three home runs. Not legendary stuff and certainly nowhere close to Polanco’s track record.

Continue reading “Tigers Prospects Dry Up After Arizona Fall League”

Wednesday Walewanders

company man.JPGI’m down to my last box of Girl Scout Cookies — Thin Mints, don’t you know — but despite this unfortunate circumstance, I present the Wednesday Walewanders.

  • Rob Neyer yesterday linked to this list of The Worst Contracts in Baseball and, no, the entire Tigers roster does not appear. But there is some significant Detroit representation: five lousy contracts. Take a peek for yourself. What do you think? How bad is it?

  • With the positive reaction to Edwin Jackson‘s Tigers debut last week I thought I’d check in on Matt Joyce‘s Spring Training so far. And based on this, it has not been a good one — at least not yet.

  • Happy Birthday to former Tigers outfielder Hiram Bochachica, perhaps the best name ever. He’s 33 today. On July 25, 2002, the Dodgers traded Bocachica to the Tigers for a player to be named later and minor leaguer Tom Farmer. The Tigers sent Jason Frasor to the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the trade on Sept. 18 of that year. Frasor’s still hanging around as reliever for the Blue Jays.

  • The no-brainer continues.

  • I’ll admit that I was watching the Manny Ramirez saga more closely than I typically would. Why? Because I was bracing myself for Ken Williams‘ and the White Sox’s stealth swoop-in-and-sign. You know they were thinking about it.

  • Of course I like Marcus Thames. Who doesn’t? I’d just rather see Brent Clevlen make the team this year.

Finally, a public-service message wrapped in a question. Since launching The Daily Fungo in 2006, I’ve been trying to avoid running the ubiquitous Google ads for two reasons:

  1. No one likes them.
  2. No one clicks them.

Now the question: If I were to drop some ads into the site — very few and very unobtrusive — would it bother you as a reader? I’m not sure that I am going go to bring in ads, but I wanted your thoughts. (If I did decide to run ads, don’t be afraid to click them.)