The Detroit Tigers are off to a surprising start, but even with questions about the sustainability of it these five prospects could arrive this season.
Entering Wednesday’s action, the Detroit Tigers have a 7-4 record this season. The starting rotation has been the driving force, with a 2.45 collective ERA (third-best in baseball) despite being without Michael Fulmer due to Tommy John surgery.
The Tigers are already getting thin on starters, as Matt Moore has landed on the injured list with a right knee injury and is facing an extended absence. So the sustainability of the rotation’s early performance is a question, if it wasn’t already. With that correction, an above .500 record will also correct itself in time.
MLB.com ranked Detroit’s farm system as the 10th-best in baseball entering the season, with a boatload of promising young pitchers in particular, so there’s a lot of hope for the future. As the 2019 campaign goes on, it seems inevitable some of those prospects will surface at Comerica Park.
As their organizational eye starts to shift to 2020, or even if they stay in contention, these five prospects can help the Tigers this year.
5. RHP Casey Mize
The No. 1 overall pick last June out of Auburn, Mize had a 3.95 ERA, a 9.0 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9 over his first five pro appearances (five starts-13.2 innings). Not surprisingly, he is No.17 on MLB.com’s list of Top 100 prospects for 2019 and the No. 2 right-handed pitcher.
Through his first two starts (11 innings) for High-A Lakeland this year, Mize has an 0.82 ERA with 15 strikeouts and zero walks. He throws three pitches (fastball, splitter and slider) at a high level.
Mize is currently deemed likely to arrive in the big leagues next year. But it would not be at all surprising if he pushes through the Tigers’ system quickly, and makes a strong case for a call up before the 2019 campaign is over.