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Detroit Tigers Player Profile: Buck Farmer

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Jul 31, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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There are a number of players in the MLB with truly unique names. In the Detroit Tigers organization, Buck Farmer takes the cake.

Buck Farmer was introduced to Detroit Tigers fans in August of 2014 when he made his pitching debut at Comerica Park in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started the game, pitched in 5 innings, and allowed 7.20 runs. His later appearances in 2014 were not as successful. In his second start of 2014, he only made it through 1.1 innings, where he earned an unfathomable 47.25 ERA (7 runs were scored on him as he faced 12 batters that day). The Tigers then decided to only use Farmer as a reliever in two other games that season.

In 2015, he took on a slightly larger role with the team. He started in five games and made it into the fourth and fifth innings. He ended up pitching in a total of 40.1 innings, facing 186 batters where he ended up with a 7.36 ERA. The only truly impressive showing from Farmer was his last inning, which was against the White Sox. He pitched in one inning, striking out two. Otherwise, in nearly every other performance in 2015, he walked at least one batter and allowed at least one run – even if he only pitched for an inning.

The 6’4 pitcher was originally drafted by Detroit in 2013 as a fifth-round choice. He attended college at Georgia Tech where he played for all four years. He was drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves and at the end of his sophomore year by the Milwaukee Brewers, but he stayed in school. According to the scouting report on the GT website: He “Has great size and is a tough competitor.” He also “Possesses a plus fastball and slider with a dominating changeup.” In 2012, he was named to the All-ACC first team.

Once the Tigers drafted him, he bypassed the rookie league in Florida and went right to the Single-A- Connecticut Tigers. He pitched in 12 games, earning an ERA of 3.09 and a WHIP of 1.219. In 2014, he pitched in 18 games for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps. He dominated at the mound earning a 2.60 ERA with 116 strikeouts. The Tigers moved him up to the Double-A Erie Seawolves where he pitched in two games, then to Toledo where he pitched in two games.

Aug 7, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The scouts must have seen something in Farmer, because he was quickly moved to Detroit. He began the 2015 season in Toledo and ended it in Detroit.

The right-handed pitcher turned 25 in February right as he was returning to the team for Spring Training. His offseason was punctuated by his wedding. He also has been working on a cutter and curveball in the offseason.

Next: Player Profile: Justin Verlander

At this point, his role with the team has been defined yet. Most likely, he will pitch in Toledo. His command was certainly an issue in both of his seasons in Detroit. He simply fed too many meatballs up the middle of the plate and pitched too many obvious balls in 2014 and 2015. With all of the competition for bullpen roles and the back end of the rotation, Farmer will need to prove that he will do more good than harm on the mound.

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