With a month gone in the Minor League season, we’re starting to see stats stabilizing and getting a good look at who’s breaking out for teams and will also take a look at some other notables. Here’s a look around the Tigers affiliates…
Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A)
James Loney, added as a nice in-season pick-up to add depth to the MLB club, Loney has played in 16 games and is hitting .229, with a .637 OPS
Remember Alex Presley’s hot spring training, well, he cooled off considerably in Toledo, as he’s hitting .210 with a .468 OPS in 27 games
Then there is Steven Moya who everyone has been waiting on. This has to be it for him with Detroit, as he continues to struggle hitting .162 with a .468 OPS and 26 strike outs in 68 at bats
Starters Buck Farmer and Warwick Saupold are showing success with sub-3.00 ERA’s, however Chad Bell, is off to the best start on the staff, as he’s thrown 21.2 innings so far, with a 1.25 ERA, with just 7 walks and 25 K’s.
With the bullpen in flux, all eyes are on the relievers in Toledo and Erie right now. The name Arcenio Leon will start getting tossed around more if he continues his hot start of a 0.69 ERA in 13 games (13 innings), which includes 7 saves, a walk, 7 K’s, and a 0.54 WHIP.
Blaine Hardy and Kyle Ryan are names will continue seeing shuttled up and down, but how about Bruce Rondon, who has now thrown 6.2 innings (7 games), with a 1.35 ERA with 9 k’s. The issue continues to be control however, as Rondon has walked 5 batters and has a 1.65 WHIP currently
Erie SeaWolves (Double-A)
There are definitely far fewer names in Erie and remember, this is a hitters ballpark, so numbers tend to be inflated for hitters and pitchers can struggle more here.
Jason Krizan, an 8th round pick by the Tigers in 2011, was recently promoted to Toledo, as he was hitting .393, with 4 doubles, 4 homers, 14 RBI, and a 1.133 OPS in his first 14 games
Some fans may remember Dominic Ficociello, from spring training. He’s hitting the ball good once again, and has a .324 average and .825 OPS so far this season.
Mike Gerber is another name Tigers fans may know, as he is considered one of the team’s top prospects and is showing why as he is hitting .303 with a .803 OPS and has 10 doubles and stolen 5 bases
Christian Stewart continues to show his ability to bash the baseball, as he’s connected on 9 homers already in 108 at bats, and has a 23 RBI, with a .269 average and .961 OPS.
Mike Zagurski has flashed the ability to strike guys out, as he has only 7 innings of work, but has struck out 12, while walking just one.
Jeff Ferrell is in the same boat as Zagurski, as he’s thrown 8.2 innings and struck out 10, while walking one
Anthony Vasquez is the team’s top starter by far and had a 2.84 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and walked 5, while striking out 18, before being promoted to Toledo
Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A)
Zac Sheperd, a 21-year old, third baseman out of Australia, is off to the best start for Lakeland, as he’s hitting .268, with 7 home runs, 23 RBI, and has a .831 OPS
Wade Hinkle, a 27th round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, is also off to a hot start with a .291 average, .831 OPS, and has 10 doubles, a homer, 17 RBI, and 22 walks already
Then you have Beau Burrows, the Tigers 1st round draft choice in 2015, who has been lights out in 7 starts, with a 1.16 ERA, 38.2 innings pitched, 7 walks, 40 K’s, and a 1.01 WHIP
Kyle Dowdy has also thrown well, as he’s had 5 starts (7 total outings), where he has a 2.64 ERA in 30.2 innings, as he has walked 7, struck out 32, and has a 1.14 WHIP
From a reliever standpoint, look no further than Jairo Labourt, who is a 23-year old out of the Dominican Republic, as he thrown 13.2 innings, has a 0.66 ERA, walked 3, struck out 22, and has a 0.80 WHIP
West Michigan Whitecaps (A)
Hitting is pretty light here, as only one hitter is hitting over .280 currently and that is Jacob Robson. Robson is hitting .350 in 117 at bats with and .843 OPS
Blaise Salter is the other standout currently, as Salter is hitting .276 with 4 homers, 25 RBI, and a .767 OPS
Gregory Soto, a 22-year old lefty, has been the team’s top starter to date. Soto, has 5 starts for 28 innings and has not allowed an earned run to this point. He does have control issues with 15 walks, but has given up just 13 hits, has struck out 29, and has a WHIP of 1.00
Austin Sodders, a 7th round pick last year by Detroit is close behind Soto however, as Sodders has a .069 ERA in 5 starts, has given up 7 walks, struck out 22, and has a WHIP of 0.95
Eduardo Jimenez is off to the best start of any reliever with significant innings, as he has thrown 14.2 innings, has a 0.61 ERA, 5 walks, 22 K’s, and a 0.95 WHIP
Short Season-A Connecticut and rookie leagues have yet to start
It looks like the Tigers have some promising arms and a few good bats to possibly look to in the future, but only time and more experience will tell