The Detroit Tigers minor league system gets some much-needed bullpen help in the form of two right-handers, Nick Kuzia and Elvis Alvarado in the minor league Rule 5 draft.
Today would have been the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft but with the lockout in place, the minor league portion of the draft took place today as the Detroit Tigers picked up a pair of right-handers in Nick Kuzia from San Diego and Elvis Alvarado from Seattle however, Detroit did lose right-hander Ruben Garcia to Houston.
Garcia was a minor league Rule 5 pick originally from Baltimore who had an unorthodox delivery but put up some good strikeout numbers between West Michigan and Erie.
He picked up five saves for the Whitecaps, putting up an impressive 12.3 K/9 in a very small sample size (15.3IP) and in Erie, he put up 11.2 K/9 over 41 innings of work but walks were a problem as his walk rate was 6.4.
RHP Nick Kuzia:
Standing at 6’4, Kuzia was signed as a nondrafted free agent by the Padres in 2017. Last season at Double-A San Antonio, Kuzia struck out 60 over 46.2 innings pitched with a sinker and fastball combo, picking up seven saves. Walks are the issue with Kuzia as he had a BB/9 of 6. He was one of five players the Padres lost in the draft this afternoon. The increase of velocity as first pointed out on Twitter by Trevor Hooth of Bless You Boys stands out.
Our friends over at Friars on the Farm did a podcast with him, discussing his development.
His Instagram gives a good indication of how much confidence he has and how he attacks hitters.