Buck Farmer was a lifeline last year for the Detroit Tigers. He was called up to make a start in mid-August when all other options had failed. But come this 2015 season, Famer could be appearing on the mound without any sort of desperation attached.
The 24 year-old right-hander is making some noise in Spring Training as a reliever, which has caught the eye of manager Brad Ausmus; “It seems like we have a lot of power arms…a lot of guys throwing 95 mph. Guys like Farmer and Nesbitt.”
This isn’t Farmer’s first rodeo, though. Nate Miller of Yellow Jacked Up states that the Georgia native has shown his potential consistently in the minor leagues:
"Rapidly ascending through the ranks of the Tigers’ system, Farmer worked a combined 123.0 innings between three different minor-league levels last year. Overall, he recorded a dozen victories while sporting impressive marks that included a 3.07 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 9.4 K/9."
Miller also points out Farmer is “armed with a strong three-pitch repertoire which includes a fastball that typically sits in the mid-90s.” The youngster has the talent to become a major league starter, standing at an imposing 6’4, 225 lbs. But it’s not his size that makes him a possibility to appear regularly in the Detroit pen, it’s his versatile pitching style that makes him desirable.
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According to Baseball America “Farmer has the fastball-slider combination to be a big league reliever” and “pitches with an above-average fastball, at times sitting 91-95 mph, at others sitting in the 89-92 range with more sink…his slider was a plus pitch in college…it’s been good enough to impress MWL managers, though, who voted it the league’s Best Breaking Pitch.”
Farmer is currently competing alongside Josh Zeid, Alex Wilson, and Angel Nesbitt for a spot or two in the Detroit bullpen. Of these relievers, Farmer stands out above the rest due to his versatility. As pointed out earlier, Farmer sports a sinker that could be used as a specialty pitch, meaning he could come in to record a quick out if necessary. He could also appear in long relief, as Farmer has been predominately a starter in the minor leagues; logging 123 innings over 22 games.
With a plethora of pitches, a bit of big-league experience, and youth on his side, now is the time for Detroit to give the young man player a chance. It will certainly pay big dividends for Detroit.