An At-A-Glance Look at the 2012 Lakeland Flying Tigers

04.05.2012 | by:

[box type=”shadow”]Editor’s Note: Wayne Koehler and Tom Hagerty will team up again this year for Lakeland Flying Tigers Coverage. The Flying Tigers open their season tonight in Tampa and open their home-stand Saturday night against the Tampa Yankees.[/box]

Alex Burgos (LHP)
• Midwest League Player of the Week (Aug. 22-28, 2011)
• 5th round pick of Detroit in 2010 draft out of State College of Fla.
• Eighth-best prospect in Tiger organization by Baseball America following 2011 season
• 6-5, 2.19 ERA, 16 GS, 94.2 IP, 89 K, 33 BB in 2011 at W. Mich.
• 13-1 with a 1.42 ERA as a freshman in 2010 at State College of Fla.
• Born in Regensburg, Germany

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Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos (IF)
• Tigers Minor League Player of the Year in 2011
• West Michigan¹s Player of the Year in 2011
• Selected to Midwest League¹s postseason all-star squad
• Tigers Minor League Player of the Month for June, 2011
• 2011 Recipient of Ryan DeWitt Minor League Player of the Year Award from TigsTown.com
• Non-roster invitee to 2012 Spring Training
• 2012 Spring Training: 3 GP, .250, 1×4
• 1st round pick (44th overall) of Detroit in 2010 out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Davie, Fla.
• Named the second-best prospect, the best hitter for average and best power hitter in the Tigers organization and the fourth-best prospect in the Midwest League following the season by Baseball America.
• Led Midwest League with 158 hits and second with 36 doubles in 2011; batted .312 with 65 runs, 7 HR and 76 RBI.
• Debuted with GCL Tigers in 2010
• Named Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida after hitting .542 during his senior year of high school in 2010
• Selected a second-team High School All-American by Baseball America

Luis Castillo (OF)
• Signed by Tigers as a non-drafted free agent in 2007
• Sixth season in the minors (all with Detroit)
• Making third stint in Lakeland (3 GP in 2009; 16 GP in 2010)
• .267, 46 R, 125 H, 26 2B, 38 RBI at West Michigan in 2011
• Career .248 hitter with a .312 on-base percentage

Tyler Collins (OF)
• New York-Penn League Player of the Week (Aug. 8-14, 2011)
• 2012 Spring Training: 7 GP, .444, 4×9, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB
• 6th round pick by Detroit in 2011 draft out of Howard College
• Tied for fifth in New York-Penn League with 8 HR
• Named the 13th-best prospect in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• Played for Sydney in the 2011 Australian Baseball League

• ABCA NJCAA Division I Player of the Year after hitting .488 with
34 2B, 19 HR, 82 RBI and 16 SB as a sophomore at Howard
• .313, 28 R, 10 2B, 8 HR, 31 RBI in 42 GP at Connecticut in 2011

Patrick Cooper (RHP)
• 14th round pick by Detroit in 2010 out of Bradley University
• 2012 Spring Training: 1 APP, 0.00, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
• 5-6 with a 4.00, 67 K in 72.0 IP in 33 APP at West Michigan in 2011
• Also drafted in 34th round by Arizona in 2009, but did not sign
• Was 8-1 with a 3.48 ERA and 106 K in 72.1 IP at Des Moines CC in 2009 to earn NJCAA Division II All-America honors
• Named to 2009 Cape Cod League all-star team
• Born in Tampa, Fla.

Matt Crouse (LHP)
• 24th round pick by Detroit in 2011 out of Univ. of Mississippi
• 2012 Spring Training: 2 APP, 3.38, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
• 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA and 60 K in 53.0 IP at Connecticut in 2011

Kevin Eichhorn (RHP)
• West Michigan¹s Player of the Year in 2011
• Acquired from Arizona, along with Ryan Robowski, in Jan. 2011 as part of Armando Galarraga trade
• Finished third in Midwest League with 152.0 IP
• 11-5 with a 3.61 ERA, 109 K, 33 BB at West Michigan in 2011
• Named the 26th-best prospect in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• Fifth year in professional baseball (16-13, 4.10 ERA entering 2011)
• Originally a 3rd round pick of Arizona in 1009 draft
• Son of former major league pitcher Mark Eichhorn

Daniel Fields (OF)
• Lakeland¹s Player of the Year and Tiger Minor League Gold Glove Winner in 2010
• 2012 Spring Training: 8 GP, .286, 4×14, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB
• Named fifth-best prospect and best athlete in the Tigers’ organization by Baseball America following 2009 and 2010 seasons; and 27th-best prospect following the 2011 season
• Second in FSL with 133 strikeouts in 2011
• High school All-American by Baseball America following senior season
• 6th round pick by Detroit in 2009 out of University of Detroit Jesuit High School
• Third year in pro ball (.229, 27 2B, 10 3B, 93 RBI, 252 K in 233 GP – all games played in Lakeland)
• Hit .596 with 50 runs, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 30 SB as a high school senior
• Son of Bruce Fields, former Tiger outfielder and coach.

Brian Flynn (LHP)
• 7th round pick by Detroit in 2011 draft out of Wichita State Univ.
• 7-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 APP with 57 K, 23 BB in 67.2 IP in 2011 at West Michigan
• Named the 24th-best prospect in the Tigers organization following the 2011 season by Baseball America

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Avisail Garcia

Avisail Garcia (OF)
• Rostered invitee to 2012 Spring Training
• Non-rostered invitee to 2011 Detroit Spring Training
• 2012 Spring Training: 6 GP, .286, 2×7, 3 R, 2 HR
• Signed as a non-drafted free agent by Detroit in 2007
• Third in 2011 FSL with 129 hits and 11 HR and tied for third with 56 RBI (also third with 132 strikeouts)
• Named the 10th-best prospect and best defensive outfielder and rated as possessing the best outfield arm in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• Batted .264 with 53 R, 16 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR and 56 RBI for Lakelandin 2011
• Fifth season in pro ball (third stint with Lakeland) – .275, with 56 2B, 14 3B, 23 HR and 184 RBI career entering 2012 season

Wade Gaynor (OF)
• Tiger Minor League Gold Glove Winner in 2011
• West Michigan¹s Player of the Year and Tiger Minor League Gold Glove Winner in 2010
• 2012 Spring Training: 1 GP, .500, 1×2
• 3rd round pick by Detroit in 2009 draft out of Western Kentucky
• Led FSL with 137 strikeouts (5th most in Lakeland history)

• Topped all FSL third baseman with .953 fielding percentage, 379 total chances, 104 putouts, 257 assists, and 25 doubles plays
• Second year with Lakeland (.213, 58 R, 104 H, 28 2B, 9 HR, 56 RBI in 2011)
• Fourth year in pro ball (.239, 186 R, 296 H, 77 2B, 8 3B, 22 HR, 159 RBI in 327 GP entering 2012 season)
• Hit 43 homers in three collegiate seasons at Western Kentucky

Corey Jones (IF)
• 7th round draft pick by Detroit in 2010 out of Cal St.-Fullerton
• Hit .259 with 45 R, 112 H, 19 2B, 6 HR, 47 RBI in 2011 at Lakeland
• Third year in pro ball (.288, 72 R, 180 H, 38 2B, 6 HR, 78 RBI in 122 GP entering 2012 season)
• Received a medical redshirt at Cal State Fullerton in 2009 as he recovered from a broken leg suffered during the fall of 2008

Victor Larez (RHP)
• Signed as a non-drafted free agent by Detroit in 2005
• 6-4 with a 4.33 ERA in 21 APP (14 starts) in Lakeland in 2011
• 3-2 with a 5.28 ERA in 5 starts at West Michigan in 2011
• Seventh season in pro ball (all a High-A or lower); 31-35 with a 4.20 ERA in 499.0 IP in 140 APP (59 starts) entering 2012 season

Matt Little (RHP)
• 31st round pick by Detroit in 2010 out of the Univ. of Kentucky
• 0-2 with a 4.55 ERA with 6 SV and 23 K, 14 BB in 29.2 IP for Lakeland in 2011; 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 6 APP at Erie
• Played for Connecticut, West Michigan and Lakeland in 2010
• Tossed 2.0 no-hit innings as part of Lakeland¹s 13.1 innings of no-hit ball against Dunedin on Sept. 1, 2010
• 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 60 APP with 69 K, 41 BB in 74.2 career innings pitched entering 2012 season

Dixon Machado (IF)
• Gulf Coast League Tigers Player of the Year in 2010
• 2012 Spring Training: 10 GP, .357, 5×14, 3 R, 1 3B
• Signed by Detroit in 2008 as a non-drafted free agent
• Led Midwest League shortstops with a .963 fielding percentage, 590 total chances, 271 assists and 75 double plays
• .235, 47 R, 101 H, 28 RBI, 25 SB in 124 games at West Michigan in 2011
• Fourth year in pro ball (.234, 114 R, 199 H, 66 RBI, 65 SB in 237 games entering 2012 season)

• Named the best defensive shortstop and rated as possessing the best infield arm in the Midwest League by Baseball America in 2011

• Named the 25th-best prospect and best defensive infielder and rated as possessing the best infield arm in the Tigers organization following the 2011 season by Baseball America

James McCann (C)
• Non-rostered invitee to 2012 Spring Training
• 2012 Spring Training: 4 GP, .556, 5×9, 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI
• 2nd Round pick of Detroit in 2011 out of Univ. of Arkansas
• Debuted with GCL Tigers in 2011, hit safely in four of his five games (.357) in the GCL before closing out season at West Michigan (.059, 12 K in 34 AB in 9 games)
• Named the ninth-best prospect and best defensive catcher in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• Saw action with Team USA during the Pan American Games following the 2011 season
• Also drafted in 31st round of 2008 draft by the White Sox out of high school, but did not sign
• Semi-finalist for Johnny Bench Award as college baseball¹s top catcher

Hernan Perez (IF)
• Named to Midwest League¹s mid- and post-season all-star squads
• Rostered invitee to 2012 Spring Training
• 2012 Spring Training: 3 GP, .250, 1×4
• Signed in 2007 by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent
• Tied for Midwest League lead among second baseman with 55 double plays
• Named the 30th-best prospect in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America

• Fifth season in pro ball – all at High A or lower (.242 with 168 R, 348 RBI, 59 2B, 10 3B, 15 RBI, 138 RBI, 36 SB in 375 games played entering 2012 season)
• Making second stint with Lakeland (.264, 4 2B, 10 RBI in 21 games for Lakeland in 2010)
• .258 with 69 R, 130 H, 23 2B, 3 #B, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 23 SB in 129 GP at West Michigan in 2011

James Robbins (IF)
• Named to 2010 New York-Penn League midseason all-star team
• 2012 Spring Training: 2 GP, .000, 0x2
• 30th round pick by Detroit in 2009 draft out of Shorecrest High School in Washington
• Tied for second in Midwest League with 158 strikeouts in 490 AB
• Topped all MWL first baseman with a .994 fielding percentage, 1260 total chances (8 errors), 1189 putouts and 104 double plays
• Fourth year in pro ball, moved up a level each season but Lakeland is his highest level so far (.256, 85 R, 201 H, 37 2B, 21 HR, 109 RBI, 258 K in 785 AB in 207 games entering 2012 season)
• .251 with 55 R, 123 H, 26 2B, 16 HR, 65 RBI in 129 games in 2011 at West Michigan

Bruce Rondon (RHP)
• Named to Midwest League mid-season all-star team in 2011
• Tabbed the Gulf Coast League Tigers Pitcher of the Year in 2010
• Selected to the Gulf Coast League¹s post-season all-star squad in 2010
• 2012 Spring Training: 2 APP, 6.75, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
• Signed by Detroit in 2007 as a non-drafted free agent
• Named the 12th-best prospect and rated as possessing the best fastball in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 19 saves in 2011 for West Michigan with 61 K and 34 BB in 40.0 IP
• Fifth year in pro ball with Lakeland as highest stop (4-9 with a 2.90 ERA, 36 SV, 147 K, 85 BB in 143.0 IP for career entering 2012 season
• Second stint in Lakeland (0-0, 1.35, 2 SV in 4 APP in 2010)

Zach Samuels (RHP)
• Signed as a non-drafted free agent by Detroit in 2009 out of Cal-Santa Barbara
• 1-2 with a 1.79 ERA, 2 SV with 47 K, 10 BB in 55.1 IP for Lakeland in 2011; 0-0, 2.60 ERA in 7 APP for Erie
• Fourth year in pro ball (7-5, 2.54, 5 SV, 150 K, 55 BB in 188.0 IP over 77 APP in career entering 2012 season)

Luis Sanz (C)
• Venezuelan Summer League Pitcher of the Year in 2009
• Signed by Detroit in 2007 as a non-drafted free agent
• Second stint with Lakeland (.250 in 4 GP in 2010)
• Fifth year in pro ball (Lakeland is highest level); .283 with 70 R, 181 H, 30 2B, 4 HR, 77 RBI in 192 career games entering 2012
• Brother, also named Luis Sanz, is a pitcher in the Tigers organization (on July 5, 2010, the brothers appeared as battery mates for the West Michigan club)

Mark Sorensen (RHP)
• Drafted in 32nd round by Detroit in 2008 out of Michigan State
• Making fourth stop in Lakeland (also played for Flying Tigers in 2009 (1-2, 6.88, 7 APP); 2010 (10-12, 4.03, 27 APP) and 2011 (3-4, 4.44 ERA, 9 APP)
• Fifth year in pro ball (32-30, 4.42 ERA, 304 K, 104 BB, 478.1 IP in 87 APP, 84 games started in career entering 2012 season)
• Son of Lary Sorensen, former major league pitcher and Tiger broadcaster

Shawn Teufel (LHP)
• 25th round draft pick by Detroit in 2010 out of Liberty Univ.
• Rated as possessing the best slider in the Tigers organization following the season by Baseball America
• Third year in pro ball, second stint in Lakeland (4-5, 3.78 ERA in 22 games, 10 starts in 2011)
• Pitched 6.0 innings in 1 game for Toledo in 2011, struck out 7 and walked 3, allowed 3 hits
• Was 10-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 15 starts in 2010 at Liberty
• Father, Tim, played 11 seasons in the Majors and is currently the manager at Buffalo, the Met¹s AAA club
• The elder Teufel twice coached in the Florida State League, managing St. Lucie in 2004-05 and 2008-09.

Jacob Turner (RHP)
• Rostered invitee to 2012 Spring Training
• Selected to the Eastern League¹s mid-season all-star squad in 2011
• Selected to participate in the 2011 Futures Game held prior to Major League Baseball¹s All-Star Game
• Named to Midwest League midseason all-star team in 2010
• 2012 Spring Training: 3 APP, 11.25, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K
• Experienced setback during 2012 Spring Training, sitting out a week due to tendonitis in his throwing shoulder
• 1st round pick (9th overall) by Detroit in 2009 draft out of Westminster Christian Academy in Missouri
• Made Major League debut on July 30, 2011 against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, took the loss allowing 2 runs in 5.1 IP

• Named the top prospect and rated as possessing the best changeup in the Tigers organization and named the fifth best prospect in the Eastern League following the season by Baseball America
• Pitched for Team USA during Summer 2008
• First-team high school All-America
• Third year in pro ball, has appeared at all five levels (Low-A, High-A, AA, AAA and MLB)
• 0-1, with a 8.53 ERA, 8 K, 4 BB in 12.2 IP in the majors
• 10-10 with a 3.36 ERA, 212 K, 58 BB, in 246.1 IP in the minors entering 2012 season
• Was 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 51 K, 14 BB in 61.1 IP for Lakeland in 2010

Tyler White (RHP)
• 20th round pick by Detroit in 2010 out of Univ. of Alabama
• 0-1 with 1.05 ERA, 21 K, 11 BB in 25.2 IP in 12 games (1 start) for Lakeland in 2011; 0-0, 1.80 in 4 APP for GCL Tigers
• Third year in pro ball (Lakeland is highest level reached); 0-1, 3.27 ERA, 40 K, 28 BB in 41.1 IP in 29 games (1 start) in career entering 2012 season

Manager Dave Huppert
• Second season with Lakeland (64-74 in 2011)
• 24th season as a minor league manager (1,672-1,535 thru 2012)
• Began managing in the minors in 1986 for the Milwaukee Brewers Helena team in the Pioneer League
• Lakeland is his fourth managerial job in the Florida State League
• Coached the 1993 Sarasota White Sox, 1999-2001 Brevard County Manatees (Marlins) and the 2007 Clearwater Threshers (Phillies)
• Led 2001 Manatees to FSL Co-Championship and Threshers to FSL crown in 2007
• Also managed the Lakewood Blue Claws (Phillies) to South Atlantic League title in 2006
• Managed the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in 2010
• Two-time Minor League Manager of the Year
• Played ten seasons in the minors as a catcher
• Was the Rochester catcher for 31 of the 33 innings against Pawtucket in professional baseball¹s longest game on April 18, 1981
• Played in 17 games in the major leagues – two for Baltimore in 1983 and 15 for Milwaukee in 1985 with a combined 21 at bats
• His one major league hit came off of Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro
• Was third base coach for the Washington Nationals in their inaugural season of 2005
• Will turn 54 on April 17.

Coach Larry Herndon (hitting)
• Eighth season with Lakeland
• served as Detroit¹s Minor League hitting coach from 1992-98
• played 14 seasons with Cardinals, Giants and Tigers
• hit .274 with 107 career home runs
• 1976 National League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News as a member of the San Francisco Giants
• member of Detroit¹s 1984 World Series Championship team.

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Mike Maroth

Coach Mike Maroth (pitching)
• First season as a professional coach
• Played for six seasons with Detroit (2002-07), went 50-62 with a 4.81 ERA in 147 APP (143 starts)
• Also played for St. Louis in 2007
• Originally a 3rd round pick of Boston in 1998
• Pitched in Red Sox (1998-99), Tigers (1999-2007), Cardinals (2007), Royals (2008) and Twins (2010) organizations
• Was 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 3 games for Lakeland in 1999


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

05.04.12