Tigers' Mize promoted to Double-A Erie

Top 2018 pick leaves Lakeland with 0.35 ERA in four starts

Casey Mize has allowed only nine batters to reach base through his first 26 innings of the season. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | April 25, 2019 11:45 AM

Casey Mize is on the move.

MLB.com's No. 16 overall prospect has been promoted from Class A Advanced Lakeland to Double-A Erie, the Tigers announced Thursday. 

Tweet from @tigers: Up next: @erie_seawolves. Congratulations @Casey_Mize! #RoadToDetroit pic.twitter.com/JmBQ9nttgN

Mize had little left to prove in the Florida State League, where he opened the 2019 season with four starts for the Flying Tigers, posting a 0.35 ERA with 25 strikeouts, one walk and seven hits allowed over 26 innings. His 25.0 K/BB ratio and 0.31 WHIP are both the best among 392 qualified Minor Leaguers while his .084 average-against places second, his 0.35 ERA fifth and his 1.2% walk rate sixth. 

In his final Lakeland outing on Tuesday, the 21-year-old right-hander gave up just one hit while walking none and fanning four over a career-high eight innings against St. Lucie, signaling his readiness for the jump to Double-A.

The top overall pick in last year's Draft, Mize sports three plus pitches in his fastball, slider and splitter, with the latter graded a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He makes the package play up with impressive control, as evidenced by his one free pass this season.

He opened the season in the FSL, where he made four appearances last season, in part to avoid the cooler April temperatures of the Eastern League that could have led to missed or delayed starts. He'll now join an Erie rotation that was already fronted by first-round picks Matt Manning (2016) and Alex Faedo (2017). Faedo tossed seven innings Wednesday in the SeaWolves' first no-hitter in 10 years. 

2019 MiLB include

The Tigers also promoted No. 26 prospect Gregory Soto to Erie on Thursday. The 24-year-old left-hander was suspended 20 games to open the season for "conduct detrimental or prejudicial to baseball" and made one start for Lakeland last Saturday before getting the bump to Double-A. Soto, who is on the Tigers' 40-man roster, posted a 4.45 ERA with 115 strikeouts and 70 walks in 113 1/3 innings with Lakeland last season. His mid-90s fastball can be a plus pitch while his slider is average. He'll need to work on his control as he climbs the ladder toward Detroit.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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