clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Infielder Andre Lipcius promoted from Triple-A Toledo

RHP Miguel Diaz, the Mud Hens regular closer this season, will also be called up on Friday.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

During the seventh inning of Thursday night’s contest between the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, infielder Andre Lipcius and utilityman Wenceel Perez were taken out of the game, and with rosters expanding on September 1, speculation immediately began that they would called up to the major leagues for the first time on Friday.

We’ll see about the 23-year-old Perez, but the Tigers did make one announcement on Thursday evening. Lipcius, BYB’s 22nd ranked Tigers prospect in the preseason, has been called up for his major league debut on Friday.

Lipcius was the Tigers third round selection in the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. He studied nuclear engineering while playing for the Vols, which caught a lot of attention on draft day. He played all infield positions other than first base in college, and has added that position to his repertoire in recent years, though he no longer plays shortstop.

While not a flashy defender, Lipcius is pretty solid around the infield despite slightly mediocre range. He’s also played some corner outfield, and has been solid out there too. As you’d expect, he is a smart player and rarely makes big mistakes. That intelligence carries over to his approach at the plate, which is Scott Harris approved.

Lipcius walks quite a lot, and he strikes out at a below average clip. With Toledo this year, he holds a 12.5 percent walk rate against a 17.5 percent strikeout rate in 416 plate appearances. Lipcius is mainly a pull hitter, but he can spread the ball around a bit, with typically good line drive rates and an even mix of fly balls and ground balls.

Lipcius has been on the 40-man roster all season, and some may remember his strong performance in major league camp this spring. He hit three homers in 41 plate appearances, posting an .878 OPS. Unfortunately that mini power surge didn’t really carry over into the regular season, where he hit 11 homers for the Mud Hens in 419 plate appearances, and that lack of power and speed always been the fly in the ointment for the 25-year-old infielder.

Lipcius gives a lot of quality at-bats, but his tools are a just a little fringy. He has average raw power and footspeed, but doesn’t really get to enough of the pop in games for a corner infielder. He’s a solid defender at those positions, but doesn’t have the speed and agility to handle the premium defensive positions where his fringe power levels would play with less issue. So he’s always been a little in-between.

We’ll see how much playing time he gets, and whether there’s still a little more production in that bat, or if this is mainly a reward for being a good team leader who has been a consistently production minor league hitter. Either way he’s been a player who really tied his teams together throughout his minor league journey, and we’re happy to congratulate him on his major league debut.

In other news, the Tigers also announced that RHP Miguel Diaz will be selected from Triple-A Toledo as well on Friday. The 28-year-old has 112 13 innings of major league work under his belt, pitching for the San Diego Padres from 2017-2021, and making three appearances for the Tigers in 2022. He’s spent 2023 handling most of the Toledo Mud Hens closing duties, holding a 5.04 ERA/3.24 FIP across 57 innings of work.

The Tigers will need to clear a 40-man roster spot for Diaz on Friday.