Tigers shut down top prospect Mize

No. 1 overall pick reached innings limit, organization says

Casey Mize pitched 13 2/3 innings in his first Minor League season after throwing 114 2/3 at Auburn. (Tom Hagerty/MiLB.com)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | August 18, 2018 8:01 PM

Casey Mize's first pro season will be a short one.

The Tigers shut down their top prospect, vice president of player personnel Dave Littlefield told The Detroit News.

"He's been throwing since last October and he's wearing down, running out of gas," Littlefield told the newspaper. "As we said when he first signed, we wanted him only to throw 15 or 20 innings, something in that range, and we're very comfortable with the decision."

The former Friday starter for Auburn University made five appearances since being drafted first overall in June, one in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and the past four for Class A Advanced Lakeland. He was 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA, allowing six runs on 13 hits over 13 2/3. The right-hander struck out 13, walked three and had a .260 opponents' batting average.

MLB.com's 20th overall prospect is healthy, Littlefield said, and will continue to work at the Tigers' Minor League complex in Lakeland. Mize pitched 114 2/3 innings in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference, where he was 10-6 with a 3.30 ERA and 156 strikeouts against 16 walks.

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Last month, Lakeland pitching coach Mark Johnson said he was impressed with Mize's stuff and mound presence.

"Just the quality of the competition every level that you go," Johnson said of the 21-year-old's transition from college to the pros. "He pretty much saw it in the Gulf Coast [League], compared to what he saw tonight. But you just go and compete. It's a game of execution, but it's about the quality of competition.

"Obviously, he came from a good college in a tough conference. But his focus is good and, from what I saw, he has the ability to execute his pitches."

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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