Detroit Tigers Minor League Report: 2022 prospects to look out for

Erie SeaWolves starting pitcher Garrett Hill throws against the Harrisburg Senators.
Erie SeaWolves starting pitcher Garrett Hill throws against the Harrisburg Senators. /
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Hey, that Detroit Tigers prospect sounds familiar.

Detroit Tigers
NC State first baseman Austin Murr stretches to make the out as Vanderbilt center fielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. (51) tries to beat the throw in the first inning during game six in the NCAA Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Monday, June 21, 2021 in Omaha, Neb. /

1B/OF Austin Murr

Murr was drafted in this year’s draft and quickly made an impression in just 38 games of work. He hit safely in 16 straight games and moved up quickly from rookie ball all the way to High-A West Michigan.  While he doesn’t hit for power, his approach at the plate was to take whatever was given to him as he finished the season with a 48% oppo rate, meaning of the batted balls he put into play, that was the percentage of them that went opposite field.

With 2021 marking the MLB draft starting in July versus June, for him to make such a quick impression stands out. One important detail to remember is how a prospect does on the Double-A level so it depends on where Detroit places him in the spring. Regardless, Murr picked up where he left off from his season at NC State, where he won a National Championship and put up an impressive slash line of .319/.376/.504.

RHP Austin Bergner

After a rough start in rookie ball in 2019, Bergner came back after the washout COVID season in Lakeland where he pitched out of the bullpen until he got to West Michigan and started in 10 games and was very effective, striking out 76 in just 59 innings of work for a K per 9 of 11.7. He averaged a K per 9 out of the pen at 12.6 down in Lakeland.

Bergner features a four-seam fastball, slider, curve, and a slider.  He is much tougher on righties with an ERA of 2.86 with a FIP of 3.21 and batters hit just .210 against him in 2021. Hopefully, he can follow the same line of success as another recent pick in the 9th round, Tarik Skubal.

RHP Bryce Tassin

Tassin was out of the bullpen exclusively in both of his stops between Lakeland and West Michigan. If you recall, he got the final out in West Michigan’s first no-hitter since 2000.

Like Beau Brieske, who was drafted in the 27th round in the 2019 draft, Tassin was drafted in the 31st round of the same draft out of SE Louisana University.  He put up good numbers at Lakeland but you have to like is that his FIP got better when he moved up a level. His FIP was 2.93 and picked up 9 saves combined in both spots.  His changeup seems to be his best pitch as he was able to generate a whiff % of 41% down in Lakeland.

RHP Wilmer Flores

He, along with Chavez Fernander, Zack Hess, and Garrett Hill, are pitching in the Arizona Fall League which is impressive because he is just 20 years old and has already put up some eye-popping numbers on the radar gun. He is the younger brother of SF Giants infielder Wilmer Flores.

He never appeared at West Michigan, just stayed in Lakeland and put up impressive spin rates on his fastball and curveball.

Chris and I have talked about him in the last few podcasts. He started in the Florida Complex League before he moved over for 11 starts. He shined there with 72 strikeouts in just 53 innings pitched. He gave up just one home run all season and while his walks are high, the Tigers could be taking the opportunity this off-season to harass his control. I am taking my shot here by saying he will be rising up through some prospect boards this season.

RHP Garrett Hill

Hill, who hit 95 MPH in his start in the Arizona Fall League, also was another late-round pick, this time in the 26th round in 2018. He too like a few others who got promoted on this list, got better after he got promoted to Double-A Erie, going 3-1 with an ERA of 3.20 (FIP of 2.90), 28 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched for the SeaWolves for a K per 9 of 12.8.

As the AFL rolls along, we will keep you updated on Hill and how he has faired.