Detroit Tigers Minor League Report: Week 4

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove are seen during warm ups against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove are seen during warm ups against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 16: Blaine Hardy #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning at Comerica Park on September 16, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers are in rebuilding mode. “Future Friday” is a segment where we examine the bevy of prospects in Detroit and their future impact in the Motor City.

The season is roughly one month old for the Detroit Tigers affiliates. Whose stock is on the rise, and who is ready to forget a tough month? It’s week four of the Detroit Tigers Minor League Report.

Toledo Mud Hens

After a 3-4 week, the Mud Hens continue to lead the International League West Division. Their 16-9 mark is also good for the best record in the entire 14-team International League.

Last week, we touched on Blaine Hardy and his dominance so far in 2018 as a starter. The lefty kept on rolling in his most recent outing, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings, while fanning 10.

The 10 strikeouts were a career-high for Hardy, who now has struck out 30 in 24.1 innings (11.1 K/9). His last two starts earned him the International League Pitcher of the Week Award for the week of April 23-29. Hardy is the first member of the Detroit Tigers organization to win a Pitcher/Player of the Week Award in 2018.

As Andy Patton argued earlier this week, Hardy deserves another chance to help a mediocre Tigers bullpen. There is still an open spot on the 40-man roster, meaning Hardy could be added without the need for a corresponding move. His combination of domination this season and past major league success should make this move a no-brainer.

Former First Rounder Shining

Another pitcher who has come out of the gates strong is righty Kevin Comer. A former first round pick of the Blue Jays, Comer was the final piece of a 10-player trade between Toronto and Houston in 2012.

Comer had been with the Astros ever since, until signing as a minor league free agent with Detroit this offseason. In nine appearances for the Mud Hens, Comer has posted a 1.98 ERA, .180 opponents’ batting average, and 10.5 K/9.

The last few weeks he’s been especially hot, having gone six straight outings without allowing a run. During this six-outing stretch, Comer has pitched nine innings, yielded four hits, and struck out 15.

Hot Hens Bats

Last week, we noted Christin Stewart had a four-hit game, hoping it was a sign he was heating up. It now appears that’s exactly what it was, as Stewart is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak.

During the streak, Stewart is 15-for-30 (.500) with four doubles, a triple, three homers and 10 RBIs. His average now sits at .306, once again showing the potential to be a key piece of the Detroit Tigers offensive future.

Joining Stewart with great weeks at the plate were Chad Huffman and Jim Aducci. Huffman has hit safely in 14 of 16 games, and is now hitting .345 for the year, which is tops in the organization.

Aducci boasts an 11-game hitting streak, and has been a big run-producer for Toledo. Through 21 games, Aducci has driven in an International League-leading 19 runs to go with his .309 average.

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