Knocking on the door: Former Tiger stars just one jump away from the Majors

Ben Paulsen, Taylor Harbin, Tyler Colvin, Jason Berken, Graham Stoneburner, D.J. Mitchell all playing for AAA teams this spring

Ben Paulsen (MLB Photo)

Ben Paulsen (MLB Photo)

They're knocking on the door.

Ben Paulsen, Tyler Colvin, D.J. Mitchell, Graham Stoneburner, Jason Berken and Taylor Harbin all share similar goals - to make it, or return, to the Major Leagues.

All are close, as they move into their second months of the season with various Class AAA teams.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox teammates Paulsen and Colvin are poised to provide the Colorado Rockies help at first base and in the outfield, respectively, after productive first months at the AAA level.

Paulsen, who spent the past two seasons with the AA Tulsa Drillers, is batting .333 in 21 games, with two homers, nine doubles and four triples. He has a .573 slugging percentage, a .452 on-base percentage, and has committed just one error. He's hoping to make his Major League debut later this year.

Colvin, who has spent the past two seasons up and down between the Major Leagues and AAA, is batting .279 in 31 games, with four homers, four doubles and two triples. He has a .459 slugging percentage, and has committed no errors.

In Las Vegas, D.J. Mitchell is working in the 51s' starting rotation, after being signed last month by the New York Mets. Mitchell, who made his Major League debut last season with the Yankees, was traded to Seattle and opened the season with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. He was picked up by the Mets after being designated for reassignment by the Mariners.

In four starts, Mitchell has a 1-0 record and a 6.82 ERA.

Playing now for the Chicago White Sox' AAA Charlotte Knights, Berken - a former regular in the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation - has started seven games and has a 2-3 record and a 3.59 ERA. He has one complete game to his credit, and has struck out 33 batters and walked just nine.

Stoneburner, who is considered to be one of the more promising pitching prospects in the Yankees organization, started his season with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders. In five starts, he has a 2-2 record and a 2.86 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting just .221 against him.

Harbin is in his second season with the Arizona Diamondbacks' AAA Reno Aces. He's currently playing as the team's everyday second baseman, batting .260 with two homers and nine doubles in 32 games.

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