Detroit Tigers minor league pitcher Adam Ravenelle recently finished the 2016 season at Double-A Erie. He checks in at 16th on Motor City Bengals’ list of the franchise’ top 25 prospects.
Detroit Tigers fans haven’t seen the best bullpens in years past.
Up until last season, the organization had trouble finding the right mix of relief pitchers. The likes of Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, Tom Gorzelanny, Jim Johnson and Ian Krol all struggled at times during their respective tenures in Detroit.
Fortunately, the team seems to be heading in the right direction.
Power pitchers like Rondon could be the norm for Detroit bullpens in the coming years.
Another pitcher with a blazing fastball who could one day feature in Detroit’s bullpen is Adam Ravenelle.
Ravenelle, who utilizes a slider to keep hitters off balance, reached Double-A for the first time last season.
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The 24-year-old split the season between Advanced-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, compiling a 3.88 ERA in 58 innings.
In addition to making his Double-A debut, 2016 was also the first season in which the reliever pitched for Lakeland.
If he can continue to climb the minor league ladder at this rate, he could be in the Majors sooner rather than later.
Ravenelle notched a 2.86 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts per nine frames in 28.1 innings of work for Lakeland. The pitcher’s ERA inflated to 4.85, but he still managed 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
While the increased ERA was an obvious concern, the 24-year-old did show improvements down the stretch.
The former fourth-round pick allowed just one earned run and only five hits over his final 9.2 innings. He struck out 10 batters over the same span.
All told, the relief pitcher collected 8.8 punch outs per nine innings during the 2016 season.
Despite overall strikeout rates that weren’t as gaudy as Jimenez or Houston, Ravenelle still possesses swing-and-miss stuff.
Ravenelle was one of 22 Detroit players invited to Spring Training.
With a number of incumbent pitchers returning to pitch out of Brad Ausmus’ bullpen, the 24-year-old may find it difficult to crack the Tigers’ Opening Day roster.
However, should the reliever thrive in the minors, he could make his Major League debut some time during the 2017 season.
Potential Future Role With the Detroit Tigers
With so many intriguing relief arms coming through the ranks, its hard to project Adam Ravenelle’s role in Detroit.
However, if he can reach the Majors with the Tigers, the right-hander has the potential to make an impact out of the bullpen as a key reliever.