Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Nine Under the Radar Prospects to Watch in 2017

benrosener
Aug 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers executive vice president and general manager Al Avila before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers executive vice president and general manager Al Avila before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Detroit Tigers
Aug 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers hat and glove in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Relievers

Mark Ecker

Throws: Right-Handed
2016 Affiliate: West Michigan Whitecaps

The first player selected by the Tigers after Matt Manning and Kyle Funkhouser, Mark Ecker has done nothing but dominate in his first 27.2 innings of professional works.

It’s obviously a small sample size, but the recent fifth-round draft pick allowed just five walks and three runs in two stops during the 2016 campaign at Connecticut and West Michigan. In addition, the Texas A&M product finished 16 games and notched nine saves.

Of the 103 batters he faced, Ecker struck out nearly a third of them (31). All told, he fanned 10.1 batters per nine innings, walked just 1.6 per nine frames and turned in a miniscule 0.98 ERA. If he can continue to find success against better competition, it may not be long before he’s pitching out of Detroit’s bullpen.

Zac Houston

Throws: Right-Handed
2016 Affiliate: West Michigan Whitecaps

Another right-handed, 2016 draftee out of college who started in Connecticut before being promoted to West Michigan, Houston may have turned in a better first season than Ecker.

Over 29.2 innings of work, the 6’5” reliever posted a 0.30 ERA while allowing 15 walks. While his walk numbers were higher than Ecker’s, so were Houston’s strikeout totals, with 49 punch outs. That equates to a rate of 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Like his West Michigan teammate, Houston could move quickly through the system if he can sustain his success.

Bryan Garcia

Throws: Right-Handed
2016 Affiliate: West Michigan Whitecaps

As it would happen, Bryan Garcia was also drafted out of college by the Detroit Tigers in the 2016 draft. He also started in Connecticut (yes, there’s a definite theme going on here) before making the move to West Michigan.

While Garcia struggled in his only outing for West Michigan, allowing three hits and three runs in just two thirds of an inning, he was dominant with Connecticut. The right-hander pitched to a 1.00 ERA while striking out 21 batters in 18 innings. Over the same span, he only walked three, which bodes well for the future.

facebooktwitterreddit