The Detroit Tigers continue to build their player development department as they bring in two new hires with a focus on pitching.
You can make the case that the Detroit Tigers are becoming “Dodgertown East” with their recent hires in Ryan Garko, Gabe Rivas and now pitching coordinator Stephanos Stroop but all bad Dodger puns aside, this recent hire shows that pitching development is very top of mind.
Kendall Rogers, the managing editor over at D1 Baseball, reported this on Twitter earlier this afternoon.
The team has not made an official announcement as of yet. Before we discuss the Steve Smith hire, let’s discuss Stephanos Stroop.
Who is Stephanos Stroop ?
Stroop has been with the Dodgers for three seasons, most recently as a pitching coach for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga. Before that, he was a scout with the Nationals and the Braves. Another item that stands out before he joined the St. Petersburgh College staff back in 2016, he was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for St. Catharine College in Kentucky.
There, he served as a mentor for two pitchers who would be Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the year in back-to-back seasons. Two players saw time in the minor leagues, John Werner and Steve Borkowski.
Steve Smith is connected to Casey Mize
Steve Smith’s resume is quite impressive, to say the least. He was both the assistant and pitching coach at Auburn University when Casey Mize pitched there. He helped the Auburn staff as a collective to become one of the best in the country.
But his track record goes further back than that. He is the all-time winningest baseball coach at Baylor University as he won 744 games during his time running the program, which was from 1995 to 2015. He has 74 former players drafted in the MLB draft including names like Jason Jennings, Max Muncy, Kelly Shoppach, former Tiger pitcher Dean Crow (pitcher acquired in 1999 from Houston), Kip Wells, and former Texas Rangers outfielder David Murphy.
According to Kendall, he will be the Upper-Level Pitching Coordinator for Erie and Toledo. More to come when the team makes it official.