Despite the assertion that Detroit's minor league system is talent deficient, the future is looking bright in Double-A Erie.
Five SeaWolves were elected to play in the Eastern League All-Star game on July 15, suggesting the cupboard is not bare.
Catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Ryan Strieby, outfielders Brennan Boesch and Deik Scram, and right-handed relief pitcher Josh Rainwater will suit up for the 24-man Southern Division squad.
Former University of Alabama star, Avila, has experienced success both offensively and defensively in his first season in Double-A. Avila boasts a .396 on-base percentage, with 69 hits and 39 bases on balls. He has even shown a little pop in his bat knocking seven homers over the fence.
Behind the plate, he has exhibited a defensive prowess worthy of top prospect talk. Through 67 games, he has a .995 fielding percentage, gunning out 45 percent of potential base stealers.
Strieby and Boesch, perhaps two of the most deserving team MVP-candidates, place high in the E.L. in many significant categories.
Strieby has fought back from wrist problems in June to rank third in homers (15), fourth in slugging percentage (.551), and is tied with Boesch for fifth in runs with 54. Boesch sits at second in the league in homers (17) and third in total bases at 159.
At .279, Scram showed over the first half he could hit anywhere in the order. Slotted everywhere from first to eighth, his power and speed have been integral to the SeaWolves 45-38 record. Scram is tied with Boesch for the team-lead in triples with five.
Rounding out SeaWolves honorees, Rainwater made the transition from starter to reliever during Spring Training. Unfazed by the transition, he developed into a go-to-guy in the late innings before receiving a promotion to Triple-A Toledo. At Erie, he posted a 2.59 earned run average in 41.2 innings.
Detroit is well represented in this year's Eastern League Summer Showdown and hopefully Tiger fans will keep tabs on these rising prospects.
The game will take place in Trenton, New Jersey, Double-A home of the New York Yankees.