The Detroit Tigers will call up outfield prospect Mike Gerber for Friday’s doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, according to a report from Emily Waldon of The Athletic. Gerber, 25, is a former 15th round pick who will likely make his MLB debut in one of Friday’s games. The move has not yet been confirmed by the club.
The Tigers drafted Gerber out of Creighton University in 2014, where he starred for four seasons. He had a solid showing in his professional debut, but burst onto the Tigers prospect scene with a stellar 2015 season at Single-A West Michigan. Gerber hit .292/.355/.468 with 13 home runs in 135 games, and led the Whitecaps to their sixth championship. Gerber spent most of 2016 at High-A Lakeland, but earned a summer call-up to Double-A Erie, where he held his own in 41 games. He repeated the Double-A level for most of 2017, shrugging off an early season injury to hit .291/.363/.477 in 92 games.
Gerber doesn’t have a standout tool, but does everything fairly well. He has an above-average arm and average speed, and can capably field all three outfield positions (though he shouldn’t spend extended time in center). His swing is a little long, leading to more swings and misses than one might like, but he has displayed solid plate discipline throughout his ascent up the minor league ranks. His power might be a tick below average, but he would still likely produce a solid average and double-digit home runs if given enough at-bats.
Shortly after Thursday’s win over the Baltimore Orioles, the Tigers announced that they optioned lefthander Chad Bell to the minor leagues. A corresponding move will be announced prior to Friday’s games. George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press indicated that this player will be a pitcher, likely either Warwick Saupold or Johnny Barbato.
Gerber will likely only be with the Tigers on Friday. MLB rules allow teams to call up a 26th player for doubleheaders, and Gerber will probably be designated in that role over the pitcher Detroit is also set to call up on Friday.