We’ve entered the final month of baseball, and for Detroit Tigers minor leaguers it’s a chance to continue proving their prospect bona fides and make one final playoff push.
The Toledo Mud Hens have the deepest collection of Detroit Tigers prospects right now, and they also happened to play the most pivotal series of any team in the system last week, so that’s an easy place to start.
Toledo Mud Hens (62-46) – 1st place in Triple-A East, Midwest Division
The Mud Hens traveled to Omaha for a huge series against the Storm Chasers, Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate, who entered the week just two games behind Toledo in the standings. And if a tussle for divisional control weren’t enough, the games also featured three of the top five prospects in all of baseball. All the stars showed up, and though Toledo went just 3-4 in the series, they managed to leave town with a one-game lead in the division.
The series was filled with offensive fireworks, and five of the games were decided by two runs or fewer. Omaha took the first game of the week 9-3, but Toledo rebounded by winning the opener of Wednesday’s doubleheader 7-2 thanks to two homers from Spencer Torkelson and two extra-base hits from Riley Greene:
Then in the nightcap the Hens staged a game-tying rally in the 7th thanks to hits from Ryan Kreidler and Kody Clemens, but the Chasers pulled out the win in extras. Toledo got early home runs on Thursday from Daz Cameron and Isaac Paredes, and then held on for a 5-3 win. Omaha took the next two tilts, though Torkelson made Friday’s game interesting with a game-tying blast in the 8th, but Sunday’s finale was full of fireworks. The Mud Hens jumped out to a 9-0 lead thanks to a pair of homers from Greene, and blasts from Josh Lester, Kreidler, and Clemens. The Storm Chasers vaulted back into the game with six runs in the 5th, but Clemens and Torkelson went deep in the 6th to give Toledo a bit more space. Then the team held on for dear life, finishing the 9th with a wild double play to secure an 11-10 victory.
The Mud Hens hit 14 home runs on the week, and they’ll take their power show on the road to Des Moines for a six-game set against the Iowa Cubs beginning tonight.