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Tigers hope tryout camp uncovers another gem

MLB.com @beckjason

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers have signed talented outfielders out of their last two spring tryout camps. They'll look for more when they hold this year's camp on March 7 at the Tigertown Minor League complex.

The tryout is open for players ages 18-23 or players with previous pro experience with a Major League organization.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers have signed talented outfielders out of their last two spring tryout camps. They'll look for more when they hold this year's camp on March 7 at the Tigertown Minor League complex.

The tryout is open for players ages 18-23 or players with previous pro experience with a Major League organization.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. ET, with tryouts starting an hour later. There is no preregistration or participation fee. Tryout campers must provide their own glove and workout equipment, while the Tigers provide wood bats, helmets and baseballs. There will be no changing facilities, so players must arrive ready to try out.

Outfielder Wynton Bernard, currently in Major League camp with the Tigers, is a tryout camp product, having worked out there two years ago before earning Midwest League MVP honors with Class A West Michigan. He is ranked No. 23 among the Tigers' top prospects. Last year's camp produced outfielder Jiwan James, who is expected to move up to Double-A Erie this year.

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Gear

Tigertown to hold Minor League alumni reunion
Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are among the list of players scheduled to be honored by Tigers alumni at the Tigertown Reunion, to be held March 11-13.

The event will also celebrate five decades of Tigers 20-game winners with Frank Lary, Joe Coleman, Jack Morris and Bill Gullickson. The alumni will also honor 1974 National League Cy Young winner Mike Marshall, a Michigan native who spent four years in the Tigers system, including 37 appearances out of the Detroit bullpen as a rookie in 1967.

"Tracking players and researching the Tigers has given me a tremendous sense of pride in being a part of one of the storied sports franchises in history," said reunion organizer John Young, a Florida State League batting champion with Lakeland in 1969 before playing in Detroit in 1971. "The opportunity to have played with many of the 1968 world championship team is very memorable."

Ragball finals set
Justin Verlander has an MVP, a Cy Young Award and a pitching Triple Crown on his resume. He has started an All-Star Game and World Series contests. Asked where a ragball title would rank for him, he didn't hesitate.

"Right up there," Verlander said.

He wasn't completely joking. He's competitive, for one thing, and he takes a good amount of pride in his fielding. When Jim Leyland was managing, Verlander would dare him to try to hit fungo balls past him during Spring Training fielding work.

Ragball, introduced to Tigers camp by Brad Ausmus when he became manager, is a little more intense than grounders, with coaches smacking squishy version of baseballs at pitchers to get them used to comebackers at game speed. Joba Chamberlain and Joel Hanrahan won the previous two Spring Training competitions.

Verlander's group won this year's team competition. On Sunday, he'll go up against Minor League pitcher Lendy Castillo, a former shortstop in the Phillies farm system, for the individual title.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

 

Detroit Tigers, Wynton Bernard