Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
For me, it came down to a few players, including Devon Travis in West Michigan and Tyler Collins in Erie. But ultimately, I think the Tigers need to push Will Clinard up to Erie from Lakeland. Clinard has been excellent for the Flying Tigers, posting a 1.37 ERA in 13 games, spanning 26 1/3 innings. He's striking out nearly a batter per inning, with a 5.5 K:BB ratio, and he hasn't allowed an earned run since April 20th, more than a month ago. Going from High-A to the big leagues is always a huge stretch and shouldn't be considered a realistic option for Clinard, but as an experienced college pitcher, there's no reason the Tigers can't attempt to be aggressive with him and see what happens. Given the bullpen challenges the Tigers have had thus far, any prospect that could even remotely be of help soon should be given every opportunity to do so.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
There are a handful of players on the farm whose statistics merit a promotion. That list includes players like Will Clinard, Devon Travis and maybe even Jeff Holm. None of them are my guy here. Catcher James McCann's promotion is the most pressing need for the organization as we approach June. McCann, the teams top pick in 2011 has been raking all season while also providing above-average defense and good leadership. He is the only catcher at the full season level in the Tigers organization that has a remote chance of profiling as an everyday player. With a strong defensive profile, an ability to manage a pitching staff, good contact ability and some thump in his bat, McCann is a guy that could be a quality big league piece. Even with his success this year and the struggles of Alex Avila, a promotion for McCann would not put him in a position to make a splash this summer, but it would line him up to be on the Major League roster next year. Ramon Cabrera has struggled since being promoted to Toledo and the smart move right now would be to flip Cabrera and McCann; challenging the more impressive prospect with his next minor league test.
Matt Buck, Staff Writer
While there are certainly prospects who are due for a promotion within the organization, no prospect is more deserving right now than Bruce Rondon. Rondon has been mostly dominant with the Mud Hens this season and while he struggled a bit during his first stint in Detroit he isn't being challenged enough at the minor league level. Rondon gave up his first earned run in the minor leagues this season on Monday, jumping his ERA to a whopping 0.54. While he'll still probably struggle a bit when promoted, the only way he will grow as a pitcher is by being challenged and the only way that will happen is with a promotion.
James Chipman, Lakeland Correspondent
Without a shadow of a doubt: Whitecaps' second baseman Devon Travis. The 22-year-old's .358 batting average and .938 OPS rank second and sixth best in the Midwest League this season. With almost two months and 162 at-bats in the books, Travis also leads the Whitecaps in runs (33), hits (58), home runs (5) and RBIs (27). A credit to his solid approach, he's also walking more than he's striking out (18 BB/17 K). Although the Flying Tigers have had solid production from recent call up Harold Castro, I'd love to see the Tigers challenge Travis with a promotion to Lakeland.
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