DETROIT -- Long before Dan Hasty became the radio voice of the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps, he grew up checking box scores of Tigers' Minor League teams. As Tigers fans try to keep tabs on the current prospects making their way up Detroit’s farm system, he’s hoping to give
DETROIT -- Long before Dan Hasty became the radio voice of the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps, he grew up checking box scores of Tigers' Minor League teams. As Tigers fans try to keep tabs on the current prospects making their way up Detroit’s farm system, he’s hoping to give fans a new way to check in.
The Tigers and Hasty this week debuted the Road to Detroit podcast, putting the spotlight on the Tigers’ rebuilding effort and the potential stars behind it.
• Tigers' Top 30 Prospects list
“I think it's time the Tigers' farm system has a voice,” Hasty said.
The debut episode is live right now in iTunes (search under Detroit Tigers Podcast), as well as other podcast outlets. It features top prospect Casey Mize talking about his journey from the top pick in last year’s MLB Draft to a no-hitter in his Double-A Erie debut, as well as Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield discussing the process of turning prospects into players and the increasing role of analytics and advanced tools that go into it.
“This is one of those shows that gives you a chance to hear from the players themselves and the people who either had a role in bringing in the player to begin with or helped them along,” Hasty said.
The inspiration spawned from a simple idea: While there are plenty of multimedia venues that focus on Major League teams and their stars, fewer delve into the farm system. Fewer still provide an inside look at the process of developing talent in baseball, and what goes into decisions like when to promote players. Those facets take on a bigger focus as the Tigers look towards the future.
The Road to Detroit podcast aims for that -- as Hasty puts it, “to reach straight at the source, at the teams themselves. And I think it gives a platform for fans to understand what goes into this rebuild. Whether you agree or disagree with how the rebuild is going, it gives you a chance to hear how the decision-making process is made.”
Said Tigers vice president of communications Ron Colangelo: “The new Road to Detroit Podcast is a great way for Tigers fans to keep up to date with the inner-workings and behind-the-scenes stories from the Tigers' player-development system. Our organization has seen a growing interest in our farm system from even the most casual fans, which is really encouraging to see. The new podcast, the @RoadToDetroit Twitter handle and a variety of other features from our Tigers TV group work to provide fans with a comprehensive lineup of content to follow Tigers prospects as they advance through the ranks towards the Major Leagues.”
Look for new episodes every Thursday or Friday, each with a similar format featuring a prospect plus a player development member, prospect evaluator or other guest. Upcoming episodes will take a look at next month’s MLB Draft, international prospects and other topics.
The episodes generally run about 45 minutes, Hasty said, enough to get you through a commute or a workout.
“The point is to pack as much quality within the time allotted,” Hasty said.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.