The Detroit Tigers 2018 draft class has performed well so far. That includes left-hander Adam Wolf, who was a fifth round pick.
The Detroit Tigers re-stocked their farm system during the 2018 MLB Draft. While most of the attention has been on Casey Mize, Kody Clemens and tenth rounder Brock Deatherage, there are a handful of other players who have acclimated to professional baseball quite well.
One of them is left-hander Adam Wolf, whom the Tigers selected in the fifth round out of Louisville. Wolf made two very short starts in rookie ball before debuting with the short-season Connecticut Tigers, where he has made eight starts. In those eight starts, Wolf has put up a 3.33 ERA, along with a 7.77 K/9 and a 2.96 BB/9. He holds a 1.19 WHIP and is limiting hitters to a .231 BA, thanks to a lowly 18.8% line drive rate.
Wolf is one of the few solid left-handed pitching prospects in an otherwise RHP-heavy farm system. It is clear the Tigers are hoping Wolf can stick in the rotation long-term, although many project his future will be in the bullpen.
Coming out of college, Wolf sat 89-91 with his fastball, which played up thanks to his large frame. He started working on a cut-fastball later on at Louisville. The pitch looks more like a slider, but could be a huge piece for him if he can control it and learn how to use it deceptively. He also fires a curveball and changeup, with both currently projected as average offerings.
While it’s nice to see Wolf pitch well in short-season, the 21-year-old’s real test will come when he reaches Double-A. If he can continue to pitch well the second and third time through the order against AA/AAA hitters, he projects as a back-end rotation pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. If he cannot, a switch to the bullpen will allow Wolf to play up his heater into the 94-96 mph range, while his cutter and curveball can develop into bigger weapons.
Ultimately, Wolf has the pitchability, makeup and size to be a big league pitcher. Whether that is as a starter or a bullpen piece remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised to see him donning the Old English D in a few short years.