The Detroit Tigers announced the final piece in the Mike Fiers trade on Wednesday afternoon: right-handed pitcher Logan Shore. He joins fellow righty Nolan Blackwood as the players Detroit received in exchange for Fiers — both were “players to be named later” at the time of the deal.
Shore’s season was split between the Stockton Ports and the Midland RockHounds, the High-A and Double-A affiliates of Oakland’s system, respectively. Unfortunately, it was shortened by injury on both ends. He started late thanks to a lat strain that kept him in extended spring training, and landed on the disabled list late in the season with another injury that shut him down early.
The anchor of Shore’s arsenal is a changeup that consistently grades out as plus. FanGraphs is the high water mark on that front, projecting the pitch out to a double-plus (70 grade) offering, which is well above average. He knows what he’s doing with the ball too, with a chance at plus command. The rest of the package is unexciting, though. The fastball isn’t anything remarkable and only gets up to 93 miles per hour. His breaking ball is even more suspect. It’s a below-average offering that serves as more of a change of pace.
High-A holds no challenges for the righty. He was initially expected to ride the fast track to the big leagues. Shore dominated while with Stockton to open the year, and posted phenomenal strikeout and walk rates to match a 1.21 ERA through four starts. Things got bumpy when he faced off against competition at the next level, though. Double-A offenses roughed him up to the tune of a 5.50 ERA and 4.27 FIP while he posted the worst strikeout rate of his young career.
It wouldn’t be fair to judge him too harshly, however. Injuries have haunted Shore’s time as a pro. The jump to Double-A is an infamous one, and the advanced numbers liked his pitching there quite a lot more than traditional ones do. He was top performer in college too, anchoring a Florida rotation that featured first rounders A.J. Puk, Alex Faedo, and Brady Singer. A full, uninterrupted season of baseball could do a world of good for his stock — even if he doesn’t project as much more than a back-end starter right now.
Shore is far from the most exciting prospect in baseball, but he’s a decent pickup by general manager Al Avila. His ceiling is limited, but he provides solid depth. Detroit’s coaching staff will be working to get him back on track next season.