The Tigers are still HOT in the HOT island of the Dominican Republic. Seeing
that they can’t draft very high because of the recent Free Agent signings of Jose
Valverde in 2009, Victor Martinez in 2010 and Prince Fielder 2011-2012 they have
resorted to signing kids who are two or three years away from professional ball.

The latest to slip into this category and under the radar of other MLB franchises is
IGNATIO VALDEZ (not to be confused with the film “Valdez is Coming”) a 16 year old
who simply murders the baseball into other planets! And hear this…they paid only
$280,000 for this strapping 6’3″ outfielder who could easily be worth , you name it, in
two or three years from now. Dave Dombrowski’s stellar scouting staff is making it possible
as they have cast an umbrella over the Latin speaking islands. Especially over the Do-
minican Republic. At this writing they have eight (Cabrera, Benoit, Valverde, Santiago,
Peralto, Albuqueqia, Valarreal and Marte) and showing signs of increasing that number!
Who knows? They might end up one of these days as the Detroit Dominicans. Remember,
you heard it here first.

Now, who will play second and who will be our number five starter?
Because he’s a switch hitter with a good glove it’s Jose Santiago at second most of the time.
Ryan Rayburn (RH)will alternate as the DH with Don Kelly (LH).
And, last but not least, our swami ball tips toward the kid southpaw , Todd Smyly, to slide
into the fifth hole as a starter and go on to greater feats than ever expected.

A last word for Jim Leyland….SLEEP WELL GOOD FRIEND!

Posted on Friday, 2-17-12 @ 11:31 AM….and happy dreams to you too! bobby hoeft/wbwf

Another Surprise For Tiger Fans: NICK CASTELLANOS!

Nick Castellanos had no sooner graduated from High School down in Fort Lauderdale, than the Tigers
were standing on his doorstep with a check for 3.5 million smackeroos. Young Nick, just finishing up
with a .542 batting average as a High School Senior, thought…”Hey, why not, that’ll buy Mom a new
car” signed and instantly became a member of the Tiger’s swelling young brilliant farm system. Actually
he was the Tiger’s 44th draft choice , but to keep him from going to College, they did come up with the
3.5 million. Last year he joined CHANCE RUFFIN and TODD SMYLY on the team’s “UNTOUCHABLE” list!
If you’re wondering why the Tiger’s would part with that kind of -dough-re-me listen up, he was rated by
BASEBALL AMERICA as the 3rd best POWER HITTER in the new crop of MLB rookies.

And where does the kid play? Right over there at the hot corner, which has become even hotter with
Miguel Cabrera possibly moving over there. To soften the situation a wee bit, the Tiger’s brain trust
are already talking about Castellanos playing at either Toledo or Erie this year. But, if he’s as good as
his press clippings indicate you just might not want to fool around with this untouchable’s psych pod.
Looks like another “nice” problem for Jim Leyland and his boys to muddle over. At any rate we fans can
watch with interest as the 3rd base scenario unfolds. Miguel might find himself playing left field much
sooner than anyone thought possible. Some day soon the Bengals will have to add another “power
hitter” to their loaded power hitting lineup! How does Jackson, Boesch, Cabrera, Fielder, Martinez,
Castellanos, Young, Avila and Peralta sound?” Now admit it, it brings a smile to your face, ehhh?
Even without Nick, the other seven, minus Martinez, will be trotting out to the field this year!

A few extra thoughts on this pleasant summery day in February. WBWF thinks the young stallion,
BRENNAN BOESCH, is due for a big break out year. He has TWO years of MLB experience at his young
age , and folks, HE’S PRIMED! Plus he has all five tools. That’s why we’re thinking BIG YEAR for him.

Also, the quiet, almost invisable, Jhonny Peralta will show us all that 2011 was no fluke. With very
little pressure on his shoulders hitting down around 7th, he will perform another stellar year.

filed on this beautiful Thursday, 2-9-12, by bobby…WELCOME NICK CASTELLANOS!