Even though the Detroit Tigers are out of the playoffs, there is still news about our favorite team’s prospects in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is a showcase for prospects that teams send to log more developmental time, and these players are usually some of their best. The Tigers sent players to help fill the ranks of the Salt River Rafters’ roster. Joining them there are prospects from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, and Colorado Rockies. Trying to keep track everything can be a little confusing, but don’t worry, we here at Bless You Boys have you covered.
If you asked 100 Tigers fans what happened this week in Tigers baseball, odds are 99 would say ‘nothing.’ The other one? He or she would say that they had a productive week in the Arizona Fall League. That individual would not be wrong.
The bats were on fire this week, and Tigers representatives were no exception. First in line was Christin Stewart, who crushed a 444-foot home run, driving in 3 runs to tie a game the Salt River pitching staff eventually blew.
That ball was thrown 92 miles per hour, but had an exit velocity of 105.7 mph!
Unfortunately, Stewart didn’t do that well overall, going 2-for-13 with seven strikeouts and no walks. This is nowhere close to his regular-season production, so take these numbers with a grain of salt, even though the AFL is a very hitter-friendly league.
Next was catcher Grayson Greiner, who had a good showing on Friday. He kicked off the night with a two-run double his first time at bat. He followed that up with a homer later in the night, a solo shot that came in the seventh, bringing his nightly RBI ticker to 3. His fabulous night in the box helped fuel a 5-2 Salt River win.
He has been Salt River’s best hitter, batting .500 with a slugging percentage of 1.333 and an OPS of 1.905.
Last to show off his ability was JaCoby Jones. The athletic utility player will likely spend most of the AFL in center field, where he could use more reps to improve his raw defensive skills. It doesn’t hurt that he is able to show off his incredible power there as well, and he did so in Saturday’s drubbing of the Glendale Desert Dogs, putting a 3-run shot over the fence in the first inning.
“I've felt good in the box out here,” Jones said. "I'm working on some things in the box, trying not to miss as many pitches over the plate as I have in the past -- just making more contact and driving the ball."
That approach has definitely worked, as he has batted .400 with a slugging percentage of .800 and an OPS of 1.262.
Other things of note:
- Spencer Turnbull, who suffered a shoulder injury in early spring and missed most of the year, pitched three innings of one-run ball on Saturday.
- Adam Ravenelle pitched two clean innings and picked up a save, but the total lack of strikeouts is a little concerning.
- Artie Lewicki struggled, pitching to an 11.57 ERA and 2.57 WHIP, but as with everyone else on this report, the sample sizes are extremely small. Hopefully he can turn things around.