Detroit Tigers News

Skelton a D-Back, Bloom will fill lefty spot on roster

joedexter
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The hope was that some team would think he was too small.  At 5’11”,  165 pounds and only 23 years old, James Skelton has a lot of upside. To start the 2008 season, he was invited to Spring training to compete at the catcher position. The Tigers thought they could squeak him past other scouts. But this afternoon, The Diamondbacks caught on to his potential. Despite being heavy in catching depth, Arizona took a chance on Skelton in today’s major league phase of the Rule V draft.

Skelton was taken in the 14th round of the 2005 draft. Coming into the draft, many thought he would be more of an infield prospect because of his size. The Tigers kept him at catcher though, because of the weakness in the system. That moved paid off. While with West Michigan in 2007, Skelton threw out 40% of would be basestealers.  Here are his numbers throughout his career.

Year  Age Tm  Lg  Lvl Aff   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO    BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SB   CS  SB%  SH  SF IBB HBP GDP
+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+
 2004 18 TGR GCL Rk  DET   23    43    3    6   1   0   0    2    7   11  .140  .260  .163  .423    0   0
 2005 19 TOT               18    34    6    6   1   0   0    1   13   10  .176  .404  .206  .610    0   0        1   0   0   0   0
         TGR GCL Rk  DET   17    33    6    6   1   0   0    1   13    9  .182  .413  .212  .625    0   0        1   0   0   0   0
         LAK FSL A+  DET    1     1    0    0   0   0   0    0    0    1  .000  .000  .000  .000    0   0        0   0   0   0   0
 2006 20 ONE NYP A-  DET   42   130   20   39   8   1   1   22   21   29  .300  .403  .400  .803    1   1  50%   0   1   1   2   3
 2007 21 WMI MWL A   DET  101   353   60  109  24   2   7   52   55   53  .309  .402  .448  .850   18   5  78%   4   3   0   2   7
 2008 22 LAK FSL A+  DET   63   212   43   65   8   2   3   23   64   50  .307  .468  .406  .874   14   5  74%   4   1   3   1   4
         ERI EAS AA  DET   24    85   22   25   2   0   2   11   19   23  .294  .425  .388  .813    1   1  50%   0   1   0   1   1
         129 HWB     DET    5    10    1    3   1   0   0    3    2    3  .300  .462  .400  .862    0   1   0%   1   0   0   1   0
+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+
 2 Seasons         Rk        40    76    9   12   2   0   0    3   20   20  .158  .333  .184  .517    0   0        1   0   0   0   0
 1 Season          A-        42   130   20   39   8   1   1   22   21   29  .300  .403  .400  .803    1   1  50%   0   1   1   2   3
 1 Season          A        101   353   60  109  24   2   7   52   55   53  .309  .402  .448  .850   18   5  78%   4   3   0   2   7
 2 Seasons         A+        64   213   43   65   8   2   3   23   64   51  .305  .466  .404  .870   14   5  74%   4   1   3   1   4
 1 Season          AA        24    85   22   25   2   0   2   11   19   23  .294  .425  .388  .813    1   1  50%   0   1   0   1   1
+-----------------+---+--------+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+
 5 Seasons                  276   867  155  253  45   5  13  114  181  179  .292  .416  .400  .816   34  13  72%  10   6   4   7  15
+-----------------+------------+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+

Hoping a lefty will ‘Bloom’

In a search for as much bullpen help as they can find, It does’nt surprise that the Tigers went the bullpen route in the major league round of the rule v draft. What they got in return for Skelton migh be well worth the swap of farmhands.

Kyle Bloom is a lefty reliever out of the Pirates organization. A fifth round pick out of the 2004 draft, bloom had yet to blossom in until the 2008 season, when he saw a breakout in numbers. At 6’3″ and 183 pounds, Bloom can be intimidating on the mound. The first half  in 2008 at AA Altoona saw struggles. He went winless in April and May, but tossed beautifully in the second half, including an August run that included 2 hit 7 inning performance, where Bloom sat down 21 of the 23 Portland Sea Dogs he faced.

In this league though, it’s more about what you can do for me now. After a brilliant sting in Hawaiian Winter Ball, that included 30 innings pitched, 32 strikeouts and 11walks, the Pirates decided to leave Bloom unprotected.

Though I have argued that we are just fine in the lefty department, I like this pick up. Bloom held hitters to a .144 Avg in winter ball, and a .244 average in AA. He is cheap, and could blossom at the right time. If he does well out of the pen, and the organization likes his arm, He could be converted to a future starter as well.

With the winter meetings now in the books, it will be interesting to see what comes next in the 2008 off-season saga.  Hopefully, we will finally see a closer signed or traded for. We lost out on J.J. Putz and Kerry Wood. How much longer can we wait to make a move?

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