Down on the Farm: The Best and Worst Pitchers of June


The month of June is officially in the books, bringing us to yet another monthly prospect report. Following the same outline as before, I will highlight the previous months best and worst performances in a who’s hot and who’s not format. The monthly review will break down into two parts, the pitchers first followed by a separate report on the batters. With the at-bats and innings piling up, the prospects true colors are beginning to show. With that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at last months performances.

Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps:


  • Kevin Eichhorn was 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 2/3 innings of work last month. Eichhorn currently boasts a 6-3 record with a 3.29 ERA in 82 innings with the Whitecaps. During that span he has racked up 68 strikeouts while issuing just 19 walks. Eichhorn was acquired by the Detroit Tigers from the Arizona Diamondbacks when they shipped off Armando Galarraga earlier this year.
  • Bruce Rondon allowed four hits and one run in 10 2/3 innings last month. The hard-throwing right-handed reliever struck out 14 and walked 8. This season Rondon has a 1.72 ERA, 14 saves and 46 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. The 20-year-old Venezuelans only blemish statistically is the fact that he’s walking nearly a batter an inning.

Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers


Kenny Faulk recorded 6 saves and posted a 2.53 ERA in June. In 10 2/3 innings, Faulk recorded 10 strikeouts and 3 walks. This season, the southpaw closer has a 1.95 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings. Faulk has also issued just 5 walks the entire season. It’s beyond me why Faulk continues to fly under the radar!

  • Drew Smyly returned from the DL with a vengeance last month. In 32 2/3 innings of work, Smyly was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA. During that span Smyly struck out 31 and issued 8 walks. Entering the season, Smyly was tabbed the eighth-best prospect in the Tigers organization by Baseball America.

    Cole Nelson struggled a bit in June, posting 1-3 record with a 5.40 ERA. Opposing batter hit nearly .300 off Nelson last month. On the bright side, he’s still striking out nearly a batter per inning and the walks continue to decline each month. The 20-year-old, 6’7″ southpaw is still work in progress but his raw talent  keeps me interested in him as a prospect.

    AA Erie SeaWolves


    • Austin Wood continues to put up stellar numbers for the SeaWolves. Wood surrendered just two earned-runs in 12 2/3 innings last month. During that span he struck out 17 while walking just 3 batters. This season Wood is 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 3 saves. The 24-year-old southpaw continues to strikeout over a batter an inning, while limiting walks and keeping the ball in the yard.
    • Luis Marte posted a 2.20 ERA and racked up an impressive 25 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings last month. The 24-year-old reliever is in his third full-season with the SeaWolves.


    • Mark Sorensen was 3-3 with a 8.32 ERA in 6 June starts. He surrendered 33 runs–30 earned–over 33 2/3 innings. The bad month skyrocketed his season ERA to 5.85. Sorensen was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

    AAA-Toledo Mud Hens


    Duane Below was 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings last month. Below struck out 23 and issued 10 walks last month. He also did a better job of keeping the ball in the yard–just three homeruns. Left-handed batters are hitting just .162 against him and he is currently on the 40-man roster. With that in mind I wouldn’t be to surprised to see him called-up in September.


    Andrew Oliver was 1-3 with a 8.63 ERA in 5 June starts. Oliver surrendered 25 runs–23 earned–over 22 innings last month. The stuff is there but Oliver has hit some sort of wall. Many scouts wondered if Oliver was better suited for a relief role when the Tigers drafted him. I am beginning to think that they were on to something. Perhaps it’s time to re-invent the wheel and move him to the ‘pen?

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