I’m not sure if you have been paying attention the last few weeks, but news in from the field is that JaCoby Jones is now murdering baseballs. A young gentlemen who has long been known for his ability to run down damn near anything hit within shouting distance, Jones has been a frustrating fellow to watch when holding a sculpted piece of hardwood. The past weeks have seen that change. It’s likely due to his approach, where he is remaining patient, quiet, and prepared.
“You’re asking a pitcher who wants nobody else but JaCoby in the outfield,” joked Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy. “It’s ridiculous if you see some of the balls he gets to.
“I’ve noticed his approach (batting) has changed a little bit. He’s more patient, he’s not just trying to hit home runs to left field. When you’re in a groove, you’re more confident, more relaxed.”
It has been a fun few weeks, but I will feel better if I can look back in September and say it has been a fun summer.
Chris Ilitch is obsessed
Much like the guy in your fantasy keeper league who decides it’s time to sell in late April and never finishes inside the top five, Tigers owner Chris Ilitch is obsessed with prospects. At least, that’s what we’re being lead to believe. Ilitch seems to be putting his faith in the development of minor league talent, and why not? It takes a certain kind of man to look at a time where major league quality free agents can be had for pennies on the dollar and decide that it’s time to pivot to development of a volatile resource that shows a lower success rate than your author at a craps table.
“I could be accused of following all our prospects progress a little more closely than perhaps I should,” Ilitch said Friday afternoon at Comerica Park. “Internally, our guys send out information on how each of our prospects is performing on a day-to-day basis. In fact, a lot of the time, I’ll pick up the phone and call (general manager Al Avila) and say, ‘I saw such and such happened. What happened here? What’s going on there?’
Ilitch wants us to know that the rebuild is on track. Ignore the current product on the field. It matters little because we. are. on. track. Where that track leads remains to be seen.
Carlos Torres signed with the Tigers roughly two weeks ago. They are his sixth squad in 10 years in the major leagues, but it’s a life Torres is used to. After a strong showing with Triple-A Toledo, Torres was called up this weekend. Pounding the strike zone is his strategy. Getting pounded for two home runs and three earned runs over two innings of work on Sunday probably wasn’t. Let’s hope there’s a better Carlos Torres waiting to be seen in the coming weeks.
Patience is a virtue
With the Tigers drafting a high school kid in Riley Greene,, it’s likely a good time to reiterate the idea that patience is going to be a key component in the development of a teenager. Two of last year’s draft picks, Parker Meadow and Kingston Liniak, are good examples. Meadows especially has been struggling through a rough year statistically, but West Michigan Whitecaps manager Lance Parrish and Meadows maintain the correct approach. They both believe in the young man’s talents and know that he will improve.
Life of Riley
If you’re ready to get on the Riley Greene hype train, then I have an article for you. If you get excited about batting practice home runs, major league players getting excited about batting practice home runs, and Tigers legends watching a kid do all the “right way” kind of stuff, then you are going to love this article about Greene.
Granted, he will probably turn out to be really good, but keep in mind that he is currently still an 18 year-old kid who hasn’t done much more within this organization than sign a contract for more money than I’ll ever see, and hit batting practice.
[Ed.: That batting practice was pretty f***in’ sweet, though.]
Around the horn
Because it’s fun to watch our rivals fail: Indians get what they pay for in an unsatisfying season. Why the top high school player in Michigan went undrafted. Major League Baseball’s 10 biggest marketing problems.