Pacheco, Jobe next prospect duo for Detroit

September 27th, 2021

The top two prospects in the Tigers' organization have spent the stretch run of the season living under the same roof at Triple-A Toledo. and are two of baseball’s top seven prospects according to MLB Pipeline, but they’re on different levels when it comes to playing PGA Tour golf on their video-game system.

“We have like a running joke in our apartment: He plays the game and I caddy for him,” Greene said last week.

“Yeah, he’s my caddy,” Torkelson later deadpanned, “because he’s just on the couch Snapchatting and then on Tik-Tok, and I’m playing the game. I don’t think he likes the game as much as I do.”

Nearly 1,000 miles away at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla., the Tigers’ latest big-time prospects have also been roommates, helping each other through the transition as they begin their pro careers. and wouldn’t mind being the next buddy combo.

“Every time I get on social media, one of them is hitting a home run or they’re doing something cool,” Jobe said of Torkelson and Greene during his visit to Comerica Park last week. “Definitely want to follow in those footsteps and do something cool and kind of be able to go through it all together. I know that’s not how it works out all the time, but they’re great guys. I’ve gotten to talk to them a little bit. So we’ll see how next season goes.”

The fact that the Tigers have top prospects coming up in groups isn’t unique. Many organizations aim for that in order to build a window when teams can contend. What’s arguably special in Detroit's system is that the club has not only have created waves of good prospects, but good friends.

Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal started the trend, drafted together in 2018 and advancing through the system on near-parallel tracks. They were roommates at Double-A Erie in '19 and during Spring Training in '20, and they made their big league debuts a day apart last summer and have been teammates ever since. Matt Manning has been close to the group as well; Manning and Skubal jokingly introduced their dogs to each other as an excuse to meet up earlier this season when Manning was struggling at Triple-A Toledo.

Torkelson and Greene were Tigers top picks a year apart -- Greene out of high school, Torkelson out of Arizona State -- but they became fast friends last year at Summer Camp in Detroit, followed by workouts at the alternate training site in Toledo. They became roommates this year during Spring Training, during which Torkelson famously cut his right index finger trying to open a can of salsa without a can opener. They started this season at different levels in the system before becoming teammates this summer in Erie.

When both players were promoted to Toledo on Aug. 16, Greene moved their stuff together in his pickup truck. While they’ve bonded over video games as roommates, Torkelson is trying to instill a new fashion sense into his slightly younger pal.

“We’re still working on each other’s style,” Torkelson said. “We’re getting Riley away from the 'tennis shoes and jeans' flow. We’re venturing off into bigger and better things in his style.”

Jobe and Pacheco were friends long before they were Minor League teammates. While Jobe grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., Pacheco is a Texan, so they saw each other in the same travel ball showcases and regional tournaments. Both were primarily shortstops growing up until Jobe emerged as a pitcher.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Pacheco said.

That bond formed well before they emerged as potential first-round picks this past summer. They talked about potentially ending up in the same organization, but were surprised when it unfolded -- Jobe as the third overall pick and Pacheco in the second round.

While Pacheco started his pro career quickly in the Florida Complex League, Jobe spent the summer doing some throwing workouts. But they’ve shared common experiences in Lakeland as they adjust to being professional athletes.

“It was a game changer,” Jobe said. “Being able to have a high school guy with you makes it a lot easier, let alone one of my best friends. So it definitely made the transition a lot easier. It just felt like a bunch of dudes going to play baseball, having fun, just hanging out. Didn’t feel like I was out there working or had a job to do. It was just kind of going to the ballpark every day, working out, having a good time and then heading out. It was a blast.”