Well it’s not the spring camp we were hoping for as of yet, but the Detroit Tigers’ minor leaguers took the field today for their first practice together for the 2022 season. As MLB and the players’ union concluded another short meeting featuring another proposal from the union, the major leaguers of tomorrow were getting to work.
Certainly getting our latest look at top prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson will be a key attraction this spring. However, the Tigers drafted a host of good arms last July, and as of yet, none of them have taken the mound in a game. Here at Bless You Boys, we were pretty happy with the selection of right-hander Ty Madden in the first comp pick round. We loved the addition of Alabama right-hander Dylan Smith in the third round. And a pair of interesting power arms drafted further down the top ten rounds also look to have potential. Right-handers Tanner Kohlhepp, out of Notre Dame, and Tyler Mattison, the Tigers fourth rounder out of Bryant University, will both have a lot of eyes on them as they debut for the Tigers’ farm this year as well.
However, the man of the hour is the Tigers’ first round pick in 2021, prep right-hander Jackson Jobe. The organization surprised many by passing on prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer with the third overall pick, but Jobe has enormous potential and already features a ferocious slider, good velocity, and advanced command for his age. This is the sight we’ve been waiting for since the draft, as Jobe took the mound on the practice fields, throwing to minor league catcher Eliezer Alfonzo.
As frustrating as the CBA negotiations are, this is what it’s all about. Talented young players taking their first steps in his pro career, with a whole range of potential outcomes to dream on and worry over. However long it takes before the owners end the lockout and the major leaguers report to camp, getting our first look at the Tigers’ future makes it a little easier to take.