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Detroit Tigers News: The Tigers have the No. 6 farm system in baseball

Take a look at some of the most recent analysis of the farm as well as news from departing old friends.

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MLB: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving is almost here, and while Detroit Tigers fans have plenty to be thankful for in their lives, their favorite baseball team has given them a lot less to be grateful for these past few years. Nonetheless, life goes on, and so does baseball — even in the offseason.

This latest roundup of Tigers news includes farm system analysis, a couple of departed pitchers, and a look at how JAWS sizes up various Hall of Fame candidates.

Tigers farm system analysis

A few days ago, released their updated assessment of the Tigers’ farm system. Having moved up to the No. 6 position in MLB Pipeline’s August update, the team currently sports one of the more robust developmental pipelines — at least in the eyes of — and boasts a stable of high-quality pitching talent to bolster the system.

The top five prospects are as follows, with their top 100 rank in parentheses.

1. Casey Mize, RHP (No. 7)
2. Matt Manning, RHP (No. 27)
3. Riley Greene, OF (No. 46)
4. Tarik Skubal, LHP (No. 74)
5. Isaac Paredes, INF

The hitting and pitching prospects of the year were Isaac Paredes and Tarik Skubal, respectively. Anthony Castro saw his stock go upwards this past season, while Franklin Perez continued his injury-driven fall from grace. Casey Mize was named the 2020 impact prospect after throwing a no-hitter in Double-A ball but faltering over the stretch due to injuries.

The article also lists notable additions, including first-round draft pick Riley Greene, as well as some numbers illustrating how talent is dispersed among the various positions. For the most part, the assessment is encouraging, though it does feel a bit overly optimistic at times.

Drew VerHagen heads to Japan

Drew VerHagen has spent the past six seasons in the Tigers organization, bouncing back and forth from the minors to the majors. This offseason, he is making the biggest bounce of his life; he is taking his talents to Japan.

The 29-year-old right-handed pitcher inked a one year deal with Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB), setting his sails for the greener pastures of the Asian archipelago.

VerHagen had the following to say about his newest adventure.

“It sounds like they are going to give me a great opportunity to start. I just felt like this is something cool and different and it will be big financially, as well. I’m excited.”

While he failed to impress at times while wearing the Olde English D, he has an opportunity to make a name for himself in the far east. His success in the high minors and flashes of brilliance in the majors suggest that the level of play over there will suit him well. Stayed tuned next season for some old friend alerts.

Twins sign Blaine Hardy

Speaking of old friends, Blaine Hardy has finally found a new home in the Minnesota Twins’ organization. After years of bouncing back and forth between Detroit and Toledo (much like VerHagen) the 32-year-old southpaw signed a minor league contract with the Twins in an effort to keep his major league career afloat.

Hardy was a favorite of many fans due to his resilience and work ethic, and the Bless You Boys team will miss having him and his wife Nicky around, but the move was probably the best one for him. We will all be wishing him the best.

JAWS and the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot

FanGraphs’ Jay Jaffe has been releasing his Hall of Fame candidate assessment series, using his JAWS system to analyze each player. Below are links to each one he has published so far.

Who is your All-MLB squad?

Not a single Tigers player is listed, which should come as no surprise after a 114-loss season. Admittedly, it makes the exercise a bit less fun if you cannot vote like a homer. Click the link and cast your vote, if you so desire.

Thanks for the laughs

Check out this top 10 list of comical moments in Tigers history. Buried at the bottom of the article is the best one of all.

This is more legend than fact, but it’s too good to leave out. (Gates) Brown was an unsung hero on the 1968 World Series champion Tigers, batting .450 (18-for-40) with three homers as a pinch-hitter that year. But it was a pinch-hit double that became the stuff of legend. As Brown and teammates told the story, he was snacking on a couple hot dogs when manager Mayo Smith unexpectedly called on him to hit. Brown stuffed the dogs in his uniform, stepped to the plate and doubled.

“That’s the only time I ever wished I’d struck out,” Brown joked, according to a Tigers press release years later.

Base hits

Around the horn

Congress to probe “potentially unfair and deceptive practices” in ticket industry. Dueling letters highlight dramatic differences between MLB and minor league baseball on elimination. A conversation with Trevor Bauer’s new agent, Rachel Luba. MLB plans to end blackouts of in-market games for cord cutters. The Oakland A’s are now the “Moneyglove” franchise. MLB investigating pitcher Sam Dyson for domestic violence after allegations posted on social media. Kazuhisa Makita signs with the Rakuten Golden Eagles and heads back home. Phillies sign former Tiger Josh Harrison to a minor league deal.

Baseball is awesome