No. 33: Tyler Stohr, RHP
Tyler Stohr was drafted in the 6th Round by the Tigers in the infamous "reliever draft" of 2008, that also produced such household names as Ryan Perry, Cody Satterwhite, and Scott Green (although we also got Alex Avila and Andy Dirks in that draft). After signing, Stohr was assigned to Class A Short Season-Oneonta (now Connecticut), where he was immediately made the team's closer, finding good success. He spent 2009 with Class A-West Michigan, where he again was the closer, and he had a very nice year, posting a 3.54 ERA across 61 innings, with 55 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP. In 2010, he was again promoted, this time to Class Advanced A-Lakeland, where he threw a total of 5 innings before having to go under the knife for the dreaded Tommy John surgery. After spending the vast majority of 2010 recovering and rehabbing, Stohr spent the 2011 season at both Lakeland and Class Double A-Erie, where he had a nice bounce back year, posting a decent ERA, while still maintaining a high strikeout total, but struggling with his command/control (which I attribute to his injury, although it's never been his strong suit). In 2012, his 2nd year back from injury, Stohr again struggled with elbow problems (although I'm unsure if it was related to his previous injury or a new one), causing him to miss significant time during the season, but he still managed to post good numbers, albeit with a high walk total.
Stohr is the prototypical 2 pitch right handed reliever. His fastball sits in the 92-94 range, but he has the ability to consistently ramp it up to 95-96 on occasion. The fastball also has really nice explosive life at the plate, allowing him to use it as a true equalizer to both right handed hitters and left handed hitters. He has some trouble with his control of the pitch, leading to the high walk totals, but he does show an ability to command it in the strike zone when the control is on. He also throws a slider that has flashed plus potential on occasion, but grades out consistently above-average. Stohr is 6'2" tall, and weighs in at 210 lbs, so he has a nice build that he uses well in his mechanics. I don't know as much about pitching mechanics as I do about hitting mechanics, but from my perspective his delivery is pretty solid. He definitely has the stuff to be successful, but he's been hampered by injury and control problems.
Stohr has the ceiling of a dominant set up man. The plus fastball with plus movement combined with an above-average/plus slider makes his profile somewhat similar to Brayan Villarreal's (this is not a player comparison, more of a profile/stuff comparison). He is at the advanced age of 26, but his arm isn't that old considering the lack of throwing he's done due to injury. Obviously there are some durability concerns here, but if he shows in 2013 that he can stay healthy and pitch with average control, I think we could see him in Detroit next season. He's shown that he can be very effective at Double A, so barring a set back in spring training, I think he'll be assigned to Class Triple A-Toledo to begin the season. Along with guys like Michael Morrison and Matt Hoffman, Stohr could find himself in Detroit relatively early if an injury arises.