Welcome to the Tigers prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.
Clutch displays by Meadows, Workman (Sept. 24)
Parker Meadows showed up when the team needed him the most.
It was extra trouble when the 20-year-old was up, hitting a solo shot to right field in the fourth inning and a double to left field in the sixth. The outfielder has continued to produce the way he did in the regular season, when he slashed .270/.346/.473 between High-A and Double.
It was not just a one-man show as Gage Workman showcased his ability to produce, as well. The Tigers’ fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft had his first postseason homer as he went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
The 22-year-old displayed his power, hitting a two-run blast to left-center field in the fifth inning. Workman kept producing runs after, hitting a two-run single in the sixth to cap off his performance.
The shortstop has had a strong postseason so far, posting a slash line of .364/.417/.727 in three playoff games.-- Edwin Perez
Flores allows one hit in final regular-season start (Sept. 17)
Call him Fantastic Mr. Flores.
Wilmer Flores, the No. 3 Tigers prospect, concluded his breakout regular season with perhaps his best start of the year and easily his most dominant outing at the Double-A level. The 21-year-old did not allow a hit until the sixth inning and made that his only blemish, striking out eight over six scoreless in Erie's 5-1 win over Richmond. The SeaWolves remained in the Eastern League playoff hunt entering the final day of the regular season.
After posting a 1.83 ERA in 19 2/3 innings at High-A West Michigan to begin the year, Flores was quickly promoted to Erie, where he was largely successful outside of his penultimate regular season start in which he allowed seven earned runs. Before that outing, Flores had run a 2.47 ERA with the SeaWolves and lowered it once again with his scoreless start against the Flying Squirrels. -- Jacob Resnick
Olson notches Double-A Erie's K crown (Sept. 8)
It’s not often that a starting pitcher makes history on the first batter of a contest, but SeaWolves righty Reese Olson wasted little time securing himself the single-season franchise strikeout record.
Olson, the Tigers’ No. 9 prospect, passed Seth Etherton (1999) to claim the top spot on Double-A Erie’s strikeout list. The two hurlers were deadlocked at 153 K’s entering the night, but Olson whiffed the leadoff batter on his way to a six-strikeout showing.
Strikeouts have begun to come in droves for Olson, who entered his start against Altoona with 33 strikeouts over his last four appearances. He was able to vault up the SeaWolves’ list on the back of three double-digit punchout outings over the course of the year.
With multiple starts still potentially on his ledger in 2022, Olson sits at 159 strikeouts, having lowered his ERA to 4.15 after five frames in which just two unearned runs crossed the dish. He has yielded two runs or fewer in four of his last five outings. -- Jesse Borek
Flores starts off September dealing (Sept. 3)
Wilmer Flores started the month off on his “A” game.
The righty was dealing throughout his start, as he retired 15 of the 20 batters he faced. Flores finished the night with 83 pitches -- 56 of them strikes -- in his start.
He lowered his ERA to 2.34 and brought his K tally to 121 in the 96 1/3 innings he has pitched this season. -- Edwin Perez
Madden starts off September dealing (Sept. 2)
It may be a new month, but Ty Madden continues to deal like he has all year long.
The righty was dealing throughout his start, as he fanned 10 of the 21 batters he faced. Madden finished the night with 89 pitches -- 54 of them strikes -- in his start.
He lowered his ERA to 2.33 and brought his K tally to 119 in the 114 innings he has pitched this season. -- Edwin Perez
Top prospect Jobe solid in High-A debut (Aug. 27)
Tigers No. 1 prospect Jackson Jobe (No. 41 in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100) put his high-spin slider to the test against High-A hitters for the first time Saturday night and looked right at home for West Michigan, allowing a solo homer among four hits over five innings with a walk and three strikeouts against the South Bend Cubs.
Jobe, who was promoted from Single-A Lakeland last week, showed no signs of the back soreness that delayed his Whitecaps debut by a few days. While his fastball -- a pitch he has worked on since Spring Training -- topped out at 96 mph according to the LMCU Ballpark radar gun, his slider buckled hitters for much of the outing. Jobe induced 11 swings and misses out of 67 pitches. Three came against Cubs top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, who struck out in the third inning on a fastball, changeup and slider. Crow-Armstrong and Cubs No. 2 prospect Brennen Davis, currently on a rehab assignment from Triple-A Iowa, went hitless against Jobe, who used his slider to finish off two of his three strikeouts.
“I threw a lot of fastballs, and then I was able to mix in some good changeups there late, and some good sliders to get out of a jam,” Jobe said. “I felt really good tonight.”
Jobe’s lone run came on an opposite-field homer from Cubs No. 10 prospect Owen Caissie, who connected with a 93 mph fastball and sent it out to left field in the fourth inning. Caissie had an opposite-field double off the wall in the same area two innings earlier. Jobe erased another baserunner in his fifth and final inning on a quick pickoff move.
“I didn’t want to try to overthink anything, just throw strikes and trust the guys behind me,” Jobe said. “I feel like I executed pretty well except for maybe one pitch. That’s going to happen in today’s game.”
The Tigers hope to get a couple more outings from Jobe, the third overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, before his first pro season ends. He went 2-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts for Lakeland before his promotion but showed steady improvement as his season went on. -- Jason Beck
Top prospect Jackson Jobe promoted to High-A West Michigan (Aug. 19)
While Jobe’s slider keeps darting, the No. 41 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 is rising up the farm system. Jobe, the Tigers’ top pick from the 2021 MLB Draft, will make his Whitecaps debut on Wednesday at home after 18 starts for Single-A Lakeland.
Jobe posted a 2-5 record and 4.52 ERA for the Flying Tigers, compiling 71 strikeouts over 61 2/3 innings while allowing 59 hits. He had mixed results, notably with command, but showed improvement lately. However, he threw 48 pitches (25 for strikes) over 1 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts during his last start for Lakeland on Wednesday night.
One Major League evaluator who saw Jobe pitch earlier this month called his slider -- a pitch with a high spin rate that wowed scouts leading into the Draft -- an MLB-caliber pitch already. The rest of his arsenal understandably needs refinement. -- Jason Beck
Olson and Parker deliver for Double-A Erie (Aug. 12)
Reese Olson is becoming a hitter’s nightmare.
The 23-year-old was dealing throughout his start, retiring 17 of the 19 batters that he faced. He lowered his ERA to 4.40 and brought his K tally to 130 in the 92 innings he has pitched this season.
The 22-year-old’s productive game started early as hit a single in the first inning before showcasing his power in the next at-bat with a three-run long ball to right-center field. Meadows stayed productive the rest of the night as he hit another single,walked and flied out in his final at-bats
The outfielder’s power display brought his homer tally to 12 and slash line to .268/.350/.460 in his 80 games at the Double-A level. -- Edwin Perez
Keith (right shoulder) out for Minor League season (Aug. 9)
No. 11 prospect Colt Keith will not return this regular season but could be ready for the Arizona Fall League, according to vice president of player development Ryan Garko.
Keith has been out since mid-June with a shoulder injury that didn't require surgery but has required extensive rehab. The infielder, a fifth-round pick out of high school in the 2020 MLB Draft, was one of the breakouts of the Tigers' farm system before the injury, slashing .301/.370/.544 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs as a 20-year-old at High-A West Michigan.
"These past couple weeks have been much more positive feedback from him and his body," Garko said. “I think he's going to start some baseball activity here soon. Hoping for the Fall League, but we just want to make sure he goes there and he's 100 percent healthy before we let him go out and play in a setting that we don't control completely.” -- Jason Beck
Madden, the Tigers’ supplemental first-round pick in the 2021 Draft, gave up as many walks as hits – four each, including a pair of home runs to left-handed hitters. He struggled at times to command his fastball, which registered around 93-94 miles per hour according to the Portland broadcast. His changeup and slider were effective pitches for him, helping him to avoid further damage. He fanned Red Sox No. 24 prospect Christian Koss after back-to-back walks in the third inning, then did the same to Boston No. 20 prospect Alex Binelas in a perfect fourth. A solo homer, two walks and a Koss RBI single chased Madden in the fifth before the SeaWolves rallied late.
Madden threw 49 of his season-high 88 pitches for strikes. His six strikeouts fell one shy of his pro high. – Jason Beck
Santana smashes fourth homer at Single-A (July 14)
Cristian Santana is beginning to find his stroke.
The 18-year-old started the scoring with a solo shot to left field on a 2-1 pitch in the fourth inning. He followed that with a walk in the sixth, a single to left in the eighth and an RBI double to center in his last at-bat in the ninth. He finished the night a triple away from completing the cycle with three hits and seven total bases, which matched career highs.
Santana has struggled after having a scorching first four games to bring in the 2022 season, but he's slashing .355/.444/.548 for July, and his overall average has been trending upward. -- Ethan Sands