Detroit Tigers minor-league tools series: Best Fastball
We are taking advantage of the MLB lockout to look at the Detroit Tigers farm system.
The 2021 Detroit Tigers minor league season gave us unfamiliar names that rose through the system. Last season, we saw Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning move up from prospect status to rotation mainstays. So the question is, who is the next pitching prospect going to be and what type of pitching arsenal are they going to possess?
Today, thanks to Chris Brown, who brought over this format from TigsTown, we are going to look at the best fastballs in the system. The format for this will be:
- -Future Shock: The young prospects who we may see later on this list
- -Honorable mentions:
If you have not already, check out our past Tigers Minor League Tools Series articles.
Detroit Tigers Minor League Tools Series: Best Fastball
So let’s begin with the three areas of focus:
Velocity is critical to this category. It has become the norm to see minor league players throw in the upper 90s compared to in the past. Which is why our next area of focus, command, is important.
A pitcher may throw hard, but if he does not have good command, that may lead to a higher walk rate as they move up through the system. Movement, the action of the fastball takes when it’s pitched, helps change the eye level of a hitter.
If a fastball is flat and has no movement, it makes it easier for a hitter to track. It may work at the lower levels for strikeout numbers, but may not translate into the big leagues.