Tigers' Mize makes Spring Training debut

No. 17 overall prospect tosses two innings in Grapefruit opener

Casey Mize is a non-roster invitee to Tigers Major League camp this spring. (Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos)

By MiLB.com Staff | February 22, 2019 6:29 PM

Eight months after making his final start for Auburn in Gainesville, Florida, Casey Mize was back on the mound in the Sunshine State, squaring off against another college team.

This time, he enjoyed a much more successful result.

Making his Spring Training debut, the 2018 first overall Draft pick allowed one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts over two innings on Friday as the Tigers crushed Southeastern University, 13-2, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

On June 9, Mize surrendered six runs in five innings as his collegiate Tigers lost to top Royals prospect Brady Singer and the University of Florida. The 21-year-old signed for a $7.5 million bonus and eventually headed 122 miles south to Lakeland, where he played three of his five professional games, with both the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Tigers and the Class A Advanced Flying Tigers.

In total, MLB.com's No. 17 overall prospect went 0-1 with a 2.95 ERA, 14 strikeouts and three walks over 13 2/3 innings in five starts.

Playing the Lakeland-based Fire on Friday, Mize retired the first five batters he faced on a pair of strikeouts, two groundouts and a flyout. Three straight singles later, Southeastern University was on the board, but the 6-foot-3 right-hander got a groundout to complete his first big league camp appearance.

Mize was replaced by Tigers No. 9 prospect Kyle Funkhouser, who fanned four over two perfect frames before 14th-ranked Gregory Soto allowed an unearned run on one hit with two punchouts in the seventh. No. 30 prospect Spencer Turnbull worked around a knock with a strikeout in two scoreless innings as Detroit's starter.

At the plate, 10th-ranked Willi Castro tripled, while No. 12 Jake Rogers drilled a solo homer and No. 21 Sergio Alcantara doubled and scored a run. In a 10-run eighth, 29th-ranked Troy Montgomery singled, walked, scored twice and drove in a run.

In other spring action:

Red Sox 6, Northeastern 0 (7 innings)

Third-ranked Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec led off the second inning by homering to straightaway center in his first spring at-bat as the reigning World Series champs blanked the Huskies. The third baseman, who batted out of the cleanup spot, also was hit by a pitch and scored a run in the fourth. No. 9 Mike Shawaryn struck out two and allowed one hit over two innings as the Red Sox starter, while seventh-ranked Darwinzon Hernandez fanned three in two hitless frames. Top prospect Michael Chavis popped to third in the sixth inning in his lone at-bat, but perhaps more importantly, played three innings at second base -- his first time at the position in the professional ranks. Chavis made an error by dropping the ball on a tag attempt in the seventh but made up for it by helping turn a game-ending double play one batter later. Box score

Phillies 3, Rays 2

Phillies No. 16 prospect Cole Irvin pitched the most of any ranked prospect Friday, guiding his club to the first win in Grapefruit League play. The 25-year-old left-hander pitched into the third inning, giving up an earned run on three hits while fanning three Rays over 2 1/3 frames. The only run he yielded came after he left as reliever Aaron Brown gave up a sacrifice fly to Ji-Man Choi immediately after Irvin exited, having given up a single to Daniel Robertson and a double to Tommy Pham. Rays left-hander and reigning MiLBY Reliever of the Year Colin Poche was wild in his spring opener, walking three and allowing a run and a hit while recording two outs. Box score

Mariners 8, Athletics 1

Two of the AL West's most prominent pitching prospects made their spring debuts. A's top prospect -- No. 12 overall -- Jesus Luzardo worked one inning and allowed two hits, a walk and an unearned run. The left-hander struck out Joe DeCarlo for the first out of the fourth, then walked Mariners No. 4 prospect Evan White to load the bases. He escaped by inducing a double play grounder from Dylan Moore. Meanwhile, third-ranked Justin Dunn, making his Mariners debut after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Mets, worked a 1-2-3 sixth. MLB.com's No. 89 overall prospect needed five pitches to register a flyout, strikeout and groundout. A's No. 3 prospect Sean Murphy (45th overall) cracked a solo shot to center field off Nick Rumbelow in the ninth to account for Oakland's only run. White added a single in the eighth and Mariners No. 15 prospect Dom Thompson-Williams went 1-for-3. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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