Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Double-A Erie SeaWolves are team to watch in 2017

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Feb 28, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers player Dominic Ficociello (72) high fives Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) as he rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers player Dominic Ficociello (72) high fives Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) as he rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Mar 4, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Jairo Labourt (63) throws a pitch during the fifth inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pitching Staff

On the pitching side of things, there’s also plenty of upside.

Most prominent among the group is Tyler Alexander, who we here at Motor City Bengals ranked as the seventh-best overall prospect in Detroit’s system.

A former second-round pick in 2015, Alexander is a left-handed starter with excellent control.

He’s totaled 33.1 innings in seven starts this season, surrendering just six walks in the process. Alexander has also struck out 23 over the same span.

Alexander looks like a long-term rotation piece for the Tigers, as do Myles Jaye and Artie Lewicki.

Jaye has logged a 3.96 ERA, 7.7 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine frames in six starts. The 25-year-old Lewicki was taken in the eighth round in 2014.

He checked in at 20th on MCB’s list of top prospects last season and has pitched to a 3.52 ERA since joining Detroit’s organization.

The Bullpen

Moving deeper into games, Erie relies on a number of hard-throwing relievers with intriguing upside.

Rounding out the group is a pair of 23-year-olds and 24-year-olds. Adam Ravenelle (23, 2.45 ERA in 7.1 innings) is a potential late-inning arm, as is fellow 23-year-old Jairo Labourt.

Labourt has pitched to a 5.40 ERA in five innings after being promoted from Advanced-A Lakeland. However, he’s shown much-improved control in 2017.

After striking out 81 and walking 70 in 87.1 innings last year, Labourt has 30 strikeouts and just five walks in 18.2 frames this year.

In addition to Ravenelle and Labourt, 24-year-olds Victor Alcantara (2.05 ERA in 22 innings) and Paul Voelker (3.97 ERA, 11.1 innings) both have the stuff to pitch late in games in at the Major League level.

Voelker is tied for second on the team with a pair of saves.

Rounding out the group is Ruben Alaniz, who coincidentally is the one tied with Voelker in terms of saves. He’s shown plenty of intrigue since signing with Detroit.

In 14.2 frames, the reliever has finished seven games to go with 15 strikeouts compared to just six walks.

Next: Top Tigers prospects off to strong starts in 2017

Like Ficociello, Alaniz showed well in Spring Training. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him contribute to the Detroit Tigers bullpen sometime in 2017.

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