The 2015 trade deadline is the gift that keeps on giving for the Detroit Tigers. According to John Wagner of the Toledo Blade, the Tigers will promote prospect JaCoby Jones from Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo. Jones was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for reliever Joakim Soria last July. To make room for Jones, the Mud Hens will send outfielders Wynton Bernard and Jason Krizan to Erie (a pitcher will also be called up).
It didn't take long for Jones to re-establish his value at the Double-A level in 2016. After serving a 50-game suspension for failing a drug test, Jones played in just 19 games for the SeaWolves, but hit a robust .301/.388/.589 with four home runs and 20 RBI. He also hit five doubles and two triples during that stretch, and stole two bases in three attempts. In 59 career games at the Double-A level, Jones is hitting .279/.359/.507.
Ranked by MLB.com as the Tigers' No. 8 overall prospect heading into the 2015 season, Jones is a stellar athlete with tantalizing upside. He has the potential to hit for power at the major league level, and is capable of fielding multiple positions. Even in his short time in the Tigers' organization, Jones has already played shortstop, third base, first base, and center field. Comparisons to players like Ben Zobrist and former Tiger Tony Phillips have already run rampant, though the 24-year-old Jones has a long way to go before he starts to live up to those types of expectations.
For now, he is a step closer to the major leagues, and could potentially see time as a September call-up if he continues to play well.
The Indians tagged Toledo starter Buck Farmer for four runs on eight hits in four innings, but a solid effort from the Mud Hens offense absolved him from the loss. That belonged to reliever Drake Britton, who promptly gave up two runs in the top of the fifth just after his offense had tied the game in the fourth. Catcher John Hicks was the main mover for Toledo's offense, driving in four of their five runs. Jordany Valdespin also homered.
Hicks: 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, SO
Valdespin: 2-3, HR, R, RBI
Gose: 1-2, 2 BB, SO
Farmer: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 SO
Toledo Mud Hens 4, Indianapolis Indians 3 (box)
Casey McGehee hit a walkoff single to score Chad Huffman, and Bruce Rondon earned his second win of the season with a scoreless inning. The top of the Mud Hens lineup was unstoppable in this game; their top four hitters colelcted all 11 of the team's hits, including three knocks apiece from Huffman and McGehee. Steven Moya also reached base three times and drove in a run.
Huffman: 3-4, 2 R, SO
McGehee: 3-4, 3 RBI
Moya: 2-3, RBI, BB
Bell: 4.0 IP, 6 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
Coming up next: The Mud Hens will kick off a road series against the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday. Lefthander Henry Owens (4-2, 3.86 ERA) will start for Pawtucket.
Trenton Thunder 1, Erie SeaWolves 0 (box)
Josh Turley was excellent, holding the Thunder to a run on five hits in seven innings with six strikeouts, but his offense hung him out to dry. The SeaWolves out-hit the Thunder 8-5, but left nine runners on base and struck out 12 times. The newly-promoted JaCoby Jones had two hits in his final game with the SeaWolves, while Jeff McVaney and Connor Harrell also added multi-hit games.
J. Jones: 2-4, 2B, SO
Harrell: 2-4, SO
Turley (L): 7.0 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 6 SO
Coming up next: The SeaWolves welcome the Altoona Curve to Jerry Uht Park on Monday for a four-game series starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Bradenton Marauders 6, Lakeland Flying Tigers 3 (box)
Jeff Thompson struggled with his command in this game for Lakeland, allowing five runs on five hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings. It was Thompson's first loss of the season, and Lakeland's third in a row to Bradenton. Shortstop A.J. Simcox singled twice and drove in a run, and Christin Stewart walked twice. As a team, Lakeland went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
Simcox: 2-4, R, RBI, SO
Pankake: 2-3, RBI
Stewart: 0-3, 2 BB
Thompson (L): 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 2 SO
Coming up next: Endrys Briceno (1-3, 6.80 ERA) will take the mound as the Flying Tigers and Marauders finish up their four-game series.
Sandy Baez was sharp in this one, scattering six hits in seven innings while allowing just two runs (one earned). Unfortunately, he didn't get much support from his offense, which went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. David Gonzalez was responsible for the Whitecaps' lone run, driving in Jose Zambrano in the top of the fifth. That would mark their best scoring opportunity the rest of the way, as West Michigan did not advance a runner past first base in the final four innings.
Zeile: 2-3, SB
Gonzalez: 2-4, RBI
Baez (L): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 SO
Coming up next: After an off day on Monday, the Whitecaps return home to take on the Great Lakes Loons in a three-game series.