SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Ravenelle's 2017 season wasn't the campaign he wanted statistically. However, after his professional career was initially slowed down because of injury, the Tigers' No. 26 prospect did manage to stay healthy this season, a feat that was important to his development."The biggest thing, just staying healthy
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Ravenelle's 2017 season wasn't the campaign he wanted statistically. However, after his professional career was initially slowed down because of injury, the Tigers' No. 26 prospect did manage to stay healthy this season, a feat that was important to his development.
"The biggest thing, just staying healthy this year was huge," Ravenelle said. "It was very reassuring to go back-to-back days and pitch when I was called on and just be healthy."
The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 5.16 ERA across 42 appearances with Double-A Erie. Ravenelle know his numbers should be better, but that's also why he's excited to be participating in the Arizona Fall League for the third time.
"It's another opportunity to come out here and throw some good innings and show them that what I did this season isn't necessarily what I can do," Ravenelle said.
With a 70-grade fastball that can reach triple digits, Ravenelle is certainly capable of posting better numbers and has shown that at times. He posted a 3.81 ERA in the first half of 2017 and a 3.88 mark in 58 innings in 2016.
Ravenelle complements his plus fastball with a 50-grade slider and certainly has the stuff necessary to succeed, he just needs to work on his consistency, something he acknowledges and is hoping to improve upon in Arizona.
"It's a tough sport to figure out," he said. "That's why no one really has an answer or solution, its just finding that one thing that'll click."
Tigers hitters in the Fall League:
Kody Eaves, 3B
A.J. Simcox, SS
Cam Gibson, OF
Eaves missed roughly two weeks in May with a hamstring strain, but still put together a strong season, posting a .271/.341/.464 slash line and reaching Triple-A for the first time. Eaves spent the bulk of the season (88) games with Double-A Erie, where he hit a career-high 13 homers.
Simcox got his first taste of Double-A in 2017 and hit .250 with eight homers in 125 games with Erie. The 23-year-old's numbers may not jump off the page, but he made strides with his approach at the plate and plate discipline. After his strikeout rate spiked to 19 percent in 2016 (up from 12.9 percent in 2015), Simcox cut it back down to 15.2 percent this year.
Gibson, the son of Kirk Gibson, was expecting to go play overseas to play in the offseason, but instead earned himself an invite to the Arizona Fall League. Gibson played 109 games this season with Class A West Michigan and Class A Advanced Lakeland and posted career highs in several offensive categories as he slashed .262/.336/.460 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs.
Tigers pitchers in the Fall League:
Gerson Moreno, RHP (No. 25)
Spencer Turnbull, RHP (No. 28)
Zac Houston, RHP
Moreno made strides once again this season and was bumped up to Double-A in June. After posting a 2.01 ERA with Class A Advanced Lakeland, Moreno posted a 6.43 ERA in 20 games with Erie.
Turnbull is back in the AFL for the second straight season after spending time on the disabled list in 2017. The right-hander went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts with Lakeland before he was bumped up to Erie. Turnbull showed plenty of promise in 2015, his first full season, but has had trouble staying healthy each of the past two years.
Houston, an 11th-round pick from the 2016 Draft, impressed during his first full season. The 22-year-old appeared in 32 games across two levels and posted a 2.17 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 30 walks in 58 innings.
William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.