Yesterday I went through the position players in camp, and today I'll go through the rest of the positions players, finally wrapping up the initial roster projections.
Chris Carlson: Those who don't look at position and age relative to level, Chris Carlson is a star. Once you realize he's 24 and has yet to graduate to full season ball, he's filler. I'd say 1B at West Michigan is likely.
Wade Lamont: Truly a nepotism pick, but there's nothing wrong with that. There will, however, be something wrong if he starts getting playing time over real prospects.
Ryan Roberson: Performed reasonably well in his role as Lakeland's firstbaseman last year. Barring problems this Spring, I could see him reprising that role in Erie. The end of the road is near though.
Ryan Strieby: A disappointment since being taken in the fourth round in 2006, Strieby should be in Lakeland this year, where he will get a final shot to prove his prospect status.
Henry Mateo: Primarily a secondbaseman, I see him returning to Toledo as another multi-utility man, playing second on days when Michael Hollimon is playing elsewhere. The three man bench in the top two levels makes Mateo an asset.
Justin Henry: Last year's ninth round pick was a surprise, and will probably be West Michigan's 2B. I'd bet on a disappointment. His 57% groundball rate and .372 batting average on balls in play tells me he was slapping the ball around the field and taking advantage of Low A ball infielders. If the Tigers need to give up a lower prospect in a deal to fill a hole, they would be wise to cash in on Henry's .340 batting average. It's not going to last.
William Rhymes: Promoted to Erie last year, Rhymes is a pretty nondescript 2B. I've got him penciled in at Erie, but that's probably as far as he'll get without some serious progression.
Shawn Roof: Can play both up the middle positions well, but his bat is not going to carry him. A possible backup infielder in Lakeland or West Michigan is likely if he makes it out of Spring Training on a team.
Jorge Patino: He has bounced all over the place the past couple of years wherever the Tigers need an infielder. A candidate to get released or backup as needed.
Caonabo Cosme: With Joe Nuxhall passing away this offseason, it's really a shame Caonabo Cosme didn't get a cup of coffee with the Reds last year so Nuxhall could pronounce this great name. Cosme is a utility man probably headed for Erie if there is room on the roster.
Joe Tucker and Mark Haske: Another run of the mill utility man, it's hard to say what separates Tucker from Patino, Roof, and Haske. Some of these guys are going to play in A Ball this year. Does it really matter who?
Derek Wathan: A minor league veteran probably brought in as insurance. I don't see much room for him at all at this point.
Erick Almonte: Once the guy who started at shortstop for the Yankees during a Derek Jeter injury, Almonte did very well splitting his time between Erie and Toledo. I could see him playing short at both places this year.
Brent Dlugach: Labrum surgery last year will leave Dlugach off the rosters for time being.
Roger Tomas and Eric Harryman: GCL Roster filler from last season. While Tomas may have impressed enough to stick around, I'd bet they are both gone.
Cale Iorg: I've got him pegged for Lakeland, based simply on the hype surrounding him. Frankly, both he and Audy Ciriaco probably belong in West Michigan, but there simply isn't room for both of them.
Audy Ciriaco: Struggled in West Michigan last year, and I've got him repeating.
Miguel Linares: Overexposed in Lakeland last year, I'd bet Linares isn't long for free agency.
Mike Bertram: Stuck at third without much in the way of offensive talent. He'll need to pick up a few more positions to stick around.
Ron Bourquin: I remember being lambasted on draft day for suggesting that Ron Bourquin was a poor man's Jack Hannahan. Now that Hannahan is essentially a starter in the big leagues and Bourquin has almost flamed out, it just goes to show that the value of draft picks will almost always peak on the day they are drafted. Bourquin is set to head to Lakeland or West Michigan at third base.
Kody Kirkland: He'll probably be back to Erie again for more swinging and missing.
Max Leon: One of the few pleasant surprises in Lakeland last season, Leon played most of '06 at second base and most of '07 at third base. He could be anywhere when camp breaks.
Nick McIntyre: As a Purdue graduate, it will pain me to say this, but Nick McIntyre's time has probably run out. His ability to play all over the field is nice, but he can't hit and there are better players in camp.
Carlos Ramirez: Played mostly at the infield corners last season in the GCL, and may be headed to West Michigan. I doubt it though.
Hayden Parrott: Struggled after moving from second base to third base last season. I don't think he's done enough to warrant a promotion to West Michigan.
Santo De Leon: A .344 slugging percentage from a corner position is not going to cut it. Playing in West Michigan's pitcher's haven or not, I'll bet De Leon is released.
Chris Maples: After a terrible season last year, Maples is probably done.
Ryan Seawell: Posted a .400 OBP in Oneonta last year. That may get him a spot in West Michigan.
Marc McBratney: Also put up solid numbers in the GCL. He was a college senior playing amongst a bunch of recent high school graduates though.
Cory Middleton: Whatever shine existed after his first two professional seasons is now gone. It will take a strong spring for Middleton to stay in the system.
Deik Scram: A .400+ BABIP in West Michigan is cause for skepticism. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers move Scram to center field this year, especially after Gorkys Hernandez was traded. I've got him in repeating Lakeland as a result of the upper level log jam.
Mike Sullivan: A possible fourth outfielder in West Michigan this year.
Brandon Timm: Once a ninth round pick, Timm is now questionable to stick in the organization this year after failing to seize opportunities in West Michigan and Oneonta.
Pedro Cotto: A fan favorite in 2006 with West Michigan, but he cannot hit. May find a spot somewhere, but I find it hard to believe his performance warrants it.
D'Andrea Vaughn and Londell Taylor: Toolsy draft picks from last year, neither guy should be in West Michigan this year.
Kody Kaiser: Performed admirably last year in Oneonta. He's earned a spot with the Caps.
Jeramy Laster: Finally should be off to Lakeland after three years in West Michigan.
Kyle Peter: He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2004 and the Tigers in 2005, 2006, and 2007. It's almost like he's related to David Chadd or something (He is). He played mostly centerfield last season and didn't embarrass himself. He could find a spot on West Michigan's team, especially with his exceptional speed.
Chris White: Another speedy center fielder. It's hard to tell a lot of these guys apart. He was actually drafted higher than Londell Taylor, who gets a lot more publicity because he is good at football. White's likely headed to Extended Spring Training.
Brennan Boesch: The 3rd rounder from 2006 took a big step back last season. There is room for him in Lakeland though, even though he didn't deserve the promotion.
Justin Justice: He's always struck out a lot and his name is going to lead to him sticking in a casual observer's memory. He's not much of a prospect and is probably going to repeat Lakeland or be cut loose.
Jason Perry: There may not be room for him in Toledo. It may be between Perry and Jackson Melian in the battle for Erie's Kurt Airoso Honorary Veteran DH Award. It's a very prestigious position.
Casper Wells: Last year, stories circulated about his attitude problems in years past. It explains why he was held back. The guy can hit, though. If there is room and he has shaped up, he could be in West Michigan.
Orlando Rodriguez: He can't hit. I don't see him making West Michigan.
Luis Arlet: He'll be overrated because of his age and luck with balls in play the past two years. He may crack West Michigan's outfield.
That should be everybody. Now to set a record for world's longest blog post, I'll make the final projections for the positions players on minor league rosters.
3B-Santo De Leon
Overall, things are pretty thin down on the farm. You may notice that the comments above may not match the projections. That is because I did the projections after brainstorming all of the comments. I'll update the projections throughout the Spring as events unfold. Certainly, there is a chain reaction that occurs with each roster decision made at the Major League level. It will be fun to track that as Spring Training progresses.