The Tigers have invited 25 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training -- and the future is getting ever closer. Six of the organization's top 30 prospects will suit up in Lakeland, Florida, for Grapefruit League action.Among the invitees were three of the franchise's top four prospects -- No. 1
The Tigers have invited 25 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training -- and the future is getting ever closer. Six of the organization's top 30 prospects will suit up in Lakeland, Florida, for Grapefruit League action.
Among the invitees were three of the franchise's top four prospects -- No. 1 Casey Mize, No. 2 Matt Manning and No. 4 Tarik Skubal -- as well as ninth-ranked Alex Faedo and No. 10 Joey Wentz.
MLB.com's No. 7 overall prospect, Mize was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft. He tossed a no-hitter in his Double-A debut last season and finished 8-3 with a 2.55 ERA across two levels. The right-hander went 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA in six starts with Class A Advanced Lakeland before being bumped up to Erie in the Eastern League on April 25. Four days later, he dominated Altoona across nine frames, allowing one walk while whiffing seven.
Manning, the No. 27 overall prospect, was the Eastern League's 2019 Pitcher of the Year and the organization's top hurler. He posted a career-high 11 wins with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.980 WHIP. The 2106 first-rounder allowed seven homers in 133 2/3 innings, whiffing 148 -- the second-highest total on the circuit.
Skubal, ranked No. 74 overall, led the system with 178 strikeouts -- including nine double-digit outings, averaging a gaudy 13.1 whiffs per nine. The 22-year-old southpaw posted a 4-5 record with a 2.58 ERA across 15 Class A Advanced starts. After his July 5 promotion to Double-A, he finished 2-3 with a 2.13 ERA in nine appearances.
The Tigers' top choice in the 2017 Draft, Faedo spent last season with Double-A Erie. He went 6-7 with a 3.90 ERA and was an Eastern League Midseason All-Star. He and Drew Carltoncombined to no-hit Bowie on April 24, with the 6-foot-5 right-hander yielding one walk while striking out five in seven frames.
Acquired from Atlanta in the Shane Greene deal at the Trade Deadline last year, Wentz was 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in five starts with Erie. His season mark was 7-8 with a 4.20 ERA between Double-A Mississippi and the SeaWolves. The 21-year-old lefty sports three above-average pitches -- fastball, curve and change -- and has walked only 144 batters in 371 1/3 innings in four Minor League seasons.
Outfielder Jacob Robson, the organization's No. 28 prospect, also received an invitation. With Toledo last season, he paced the International League with 25 stolen bases, tied for third-most in the system, while scoring 61 times and driving in a career-best 52 runs. He also swatted nine long balls and batted .267, fifth among Detroit Minor Leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances.
Others also receiving non-roster invites included right-handed pitchers Tim Adleman, Dario Agrazal, Sandy Baez, Nolan Blackwood, Shao-Ching Chiang, Zack Godley, Gerson Moreno, Wladimir Pinto and Alex Wilson and lefty Nick Ramirez; catchers Cooper Johnson, Brady Policelli and Kade Scivicque; infielders Brandon Dixon, Daniel Pinero and Frank Schwindel; and outfielders Jose Azocar, Jorge Bonifacio and Danny Woodrow.
Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB.