Detroit Tigers Top Prospect Countdown: #13 Adam Ravenelle
Another pitcher, Adam Ravenelle, makes Motor City Bengals’ countdown of the top Detroit Tigers prospects.
#20 Artie Lewicki #19 Drew Smith #18 Austin Kubitza #17 Josh Turley #16 Montreal Robertson #15 Jairo Labourt #14 Steven Moya
As evidenced by the above list, the Detroit Tigers like to amass as many pitching prospects as they can get their hands on. So far, Steven Moya is the only position player on this site’s list of the team’s top prospects.
Like a number of other Detroit prospects, the Tigers’ 13th best prospect, Adam Ravenelle features a blazing fastball. MLB.com notes that the reliever’s heater can go “up into the mid-90s and it has a good amount of sink to it.” What’s more, the same website writes that “His slider can be an out pitch as well.”
A relief pitcher with a mid-90s fastball and an off-speed offering that can develop into an out pitch should play well at Comerica Park for the Tigers.
Stats So Far
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All told, Ravenelle has lived up to his billing as a fourth-round draft pick. The Vanderbilt product owns a career 3.19 ERA in the minors since his debut in 2014. During his brief debut season, split between rookie-ball and Single-A, Ravenelle didn’t allow a run, hit or walk in four perfect innings. He struck out six batters while finishing two games and collecting a save. Oddly, for all his potential as a late-inning arm, it remains the pitcher’s only career save.
Last year, the reliever also split the season between rookie-ball and Single-A. He pitched in two games in the Gulf Coast League, while spending the rest of 2015 with Single-A West Michigan.
During the season his ERA was a respectable 3.52, but his strikeout totals were more impressive. In 38.1 innings pitched, the right-hander fanned 41 batters in 38.1 innings. He’s averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings throughout his brief minor league career. The prospect’s command has been a strong point as well, with only two wild pitches coming against 178 batters faced.
The recent draftee did struggle in the Arizona Fall League late last year, posting an unsightly 7.84 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched. In total, he allowed 14 hits, 10 runs, eight walks and three home runs in only 10 appearances. Despite the struggles, his stuff should set him up for a prominent role in the Tigers’ bullpen for years to come.
Ravenelle could be the latest in a long line of Vandy pitchers to succeed in the Majors. The college program has also produced the likes of Sonny Gray, Mike Minor and former Tiger David Price in recent years—not to mention current Detroit reliever Drew VerHagen.
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Like Montreal Robertson before him, Ravenelle will likely slot in as a late-inning reliever. His blazing fastball and off-speed offerings (including a changeup) should play well as a setup reliever. With Robertson and other top prospects like Joe Jimenez and Paul Voelker, the Detroit Tigers have the makings of a strong bullpen in the future.