Tigers name four more to AFL Roster


Per the Arizona Fall League twitter feed, the Tigers have added four additional players to the Mesa Solar Sox.

Per this tweet the Tigers have added four players to the Mesa roster:

Let's take a look at the recently added members of the Mesa Solar Sox:

Tommy Collier- Missed half the season due to injury, but returned to Lakeland and tossed 62 innings of 4.35 ERA ball. Was promoted to Erie for the last series of the year. Collier, a 23 year old RHP, throws in the low 90s with life and sink, with a plus slider. This should be a nice test for Collier, who turns 24 this offseason and in all likelihood will be starting next year at Erie.

Kenny Faulk- I like Kenny Faulk. I'm probably in the minority here, aside from Johnathon Mayo calling him the "closer of the future." Faulk throws in the high 80's, but has guile, some funk, and an excellent change up. His profile is fairly limited because he doesn't have a very good breaking ball, but he is amazingly tough on lefties. In fact, Faulk held left handers to .063/.270/.125 in 64 PA. That's right, lefties were 3-for-48 against him at AAA Toledo. I can see Faulk getting a look as the second lefty in the Tigers pen next year. As it stands now, Coke is pitching his way out of town, while Smyly may move to the rotation. Inside the organization, Darin Downs, and to a lesser degree, Matt Hoffman, are Faulk's competition to earn that spot. If they make Casey Crosby a reliever, which is possible, he may vie for a left handed reliever spot in the early part of next season. A lot can change in the offseason of course, but if Faulk continues to get people out, the org is going to take notice.

Blaine Hardy- Did an excellent job filling in for Erie and Toledo this season. Started as a reliever, then started 9 times for Toledo the second half of the year. Ended the year with a 1.67 ERA between the two levels. High 80s fastball, slider, curveball, and change up. None are plus pitches. Good org arm.

Dixon Machado- Everyone knows what the story is with Machado at this point. He's got all the tools in the field, including an absolute cannon for an arm, but it's all going to come down to the bat. For a guy who needs at bats, 163 PA in 2013 is not nearly enough for him to develop. He came into camp looking bigger than ever before, but probably still weighs 160 pounds. He has decent bat to ball, some speed, and an approach at the plate (6.1%, 10.4%, and 9.4% BB rate the last three years respectively). Machado needs to add strength in order to hit in the high minors, let alone the big league level. In the last three years, however, he hasn't topped a .600 OPS. The Tigers are trying to help Machado make up some of the PA's he lost due to injury, but AFL pitching will probably prove too advanced for him at this point. Even though he's been around forever, Machado will still only be 22 when the season starts next year, so don't count him out quite yet.

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