Consistent at plate, Iglesias finds results in June

Consistent at plate, Iglesias finds results in June

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tigers are in the unique position of having their leadoff hitter among their team leaders in RBIs. But somebody has to be setting up Ian Kinsler with all those run production opportunities. For the last month or so, that has largely been ninth hitter Jose Iglesias.

With two hits, a walk and a run scored on Thursday, Iglesias closed out the month of June batting .333 (31-for-93) with more walks (11) than strikeouts (nine) and 17 runs scored.

Iglesias entered the month batting .211 for the season. He enters July batting .257. There was no major adjustment at the plate, he said, nothing out of the ordinary, just focus and repetition.

"I feel the same as May," Iglesias said. "I feel the same as April. I feel the same as last year. It's just baseball. You have to go up there, and sometimes you're not going to get the results you want, but you have to plan and stay with it.

"Overall, it's been great, getting on base, hitting some doubles, and on occasion driving the ball out of the ballpark. I think power and discipline come with time."

That said, Iglesias repeated his focus is to get on base, not hit for power.

"I understand what I need to do for this team," he said. "It's fun to hit in the nine hole and have those guys behind you. It's a lot less pressure on me. I just have to get on base and they'll drive me in. Just jump in the bus and they will drive it."

Tigers could be busy in international market

A month after a busy Draft, the Tigers could be poised for another influx of young talent for their farm system with the start of the international signing period on Saturday. Detroit, by virtue of its last-place finish last season, has the ninth-largest bonus pool at $3.15 million, up from $2,056,200 last year.

The Tigers' track record has been to spread out their bonus pool over several signings, trying to find underrated talent through scouting, rather than go big at any one prospect. That isn't expected to change much under general manager Al Avila, who kept his international staff largely intact under international scouting director Tom Moore.

"We would like to sign several players over the course of the signing period," Moore said Friday. "It will depend on how the market develops."

The Tigers have tended to invest heavily in Venezuela, which boasts 10 of this year's top 30 international prospects according to Only the Dominican Republic has more with 13.

Tigers sign University of Miami closer

The Tigers now have each of their Draft picks from the first 10 rounds signed. Sixth-rounder Bryan Garcia, a three-year closer at the University of Miami, agreed to terms, the Tigers announced Friday.

Garcia holds his school's record with 40 career saves. He struck out 52 batters over 35 1/3 innings this spring in his junior season. Undrafted out of high school, the Miami native boasts a mid-90s fastball and was a closer his entire college career, but has the secondary pitches to potentially become a starter.

The Tigers also reached a deal with 34th-round pick Geraldo Gonzalez, a shortstop from Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.