Detroit Tigers Prospects

Detroit Tigers Prospects Countdown: #20 Artie Lewicki

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Jun 15, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) throws against the Mississippi Rebels during game four of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Virginia won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) throws against the Mississippi Rebels during game four of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Virginia won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /
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As Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers are working on improving the farm system, we at Motor City Bengals thought it was time to take a look at the top 20 prospects in the organization. Our first prospect in the 20th spot is the right-handed pitcher Artie Lewicki.

Jun 15, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) pitches in relief against the Mississippi Rebels during game four of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Virginia defeated Mississippi 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) pitches in relief against the Mississippi Rebels during game four of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Virginia defeated Mississippi 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

Lewicki was drafted by the Detroit Tigers organization in the eighth round in 2014. He is a graduate of St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey. He also played at the University of Virginia for four years before being drafted by the Tigers.

As a high school player, Lewicki was an impressive pitcher. In 2008 and 2009, he was named to the New York Yankees Area Code team; this was an elite team of hand-picked players in eight regions around the country. He played on the varsity team for four years and finished 6-3 in his senior year with a 2.00 ERA.

In college, Lewicki was just as successful. As a freshman pitcher, he allowed only one run in his 9.1 innings pitched. As a sophomore, he pitched in 77.2 innings with a .238 batting average against him with 3.82 ERA. He made appearances in 10 ACC games. Against Georgia Tech, he pitched seven innings allowing only two runs. Against Florida State University he pitched seven shutout innings.

He was injured during his junior year, but came back strong as a senior. In the NCAA tournament, he pitched 23 1/3 innings without allowing a run; this included the College World Series where he pitched 13 innings. He was also named to All-Tournament Team at the CWS. As the 250th player signed in the draft, it appears that the Tigers found a diamond in the rough.

Jun 25, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Whit Mayberry (47) congratulates pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) in the second inning against the Vanderbilt Commodores during game three of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Whit Mayberry (47) congratulates pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) in the second inning against the Vanderbilt Commodores during game three of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

Lewicki is a right-handed pitcher who stands 6’3 and weighs just under 200 pounds. He has pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Lakeland Flying Tigers. In his two seasons with the minor league teams, he had a 3.20 ERA in 107 innings pitched. He allowed only 6 home runs, 35 base-on-balls. He threw 103 strikeouts against 344 batters. His WHIP in the two seasons was 1.336. The young pitcher shows promise especially in the fact that he has a rate of 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

In his first year with the Whitecaps, Lewicki was a relief pitcher who finished seven games. In 2015, he was a regular starter who played in 15 games. He was a part of the team that won the Midwest League Championship and he had the best ERA on the team.

Lewicki has several pitches, including a fastball that tops out at 96 mph. His swing-and-miss slider is about 10 mph slower than the fastball. He does not usually strike out batters with the slider, but he does get called-strikes with his curveball. He also has a changeup, but that is the weakest of his off-speed pitches. He doesn’t give away his pitches by changing his arm slot; so he does get regular strikeouts.

Next: Is the Detroit Tigers Farm System Bouncing Back?

In 2016, Lewicki should move out of West Michigan and into Double-A Erie and he could even make it to Triple-A Toledo. After another season or two in the minors, don’t be surprised to see Lewicki get called up to the big league.

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