Three reasons to check out the free Detroit Tigers mini-camp

Detroit Tigers pitching prospects run during the first day of minicamp workouts Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida.Tigers1
Detroit Tigers pitching prospects run during the first day of minicamp workouts Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida.Tigers1 /
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Detroit Tigers
Tigers pitching prospect Tanner Kohlhepp goes through drills during the first day of minicamp on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Lakeland, Florida. /

Detroit Tigers’ arms depth

In all of our Tigers’ Radio podcasts that we have done since November, one name kept coming up consistently from the 2021 draft,  and that was right-hander Tanner Kohlhepp. The 5th round draft pick out of the University of Norte Dame was mentioned by JJ Cooper, Emily Waldon and Geoff Pontes of Baseball America as a prospect to look out. The voice of the West Michigan Whitecaps Dan Hasty, also spoke highly of the reliever, who posses a high spin rate and good movement on his pitches.

Gerson Moreno, who the Tigers resigned in the winter after being in the Tigers system since the age of 17 starting in 2013, is also a pitcher to look out for.  He struck out 19 in 13 innings pitched for the Estrellas Orientas in the Dominican Winter League.  If he can continue to improve his walk rate, this a bullpen arm that could get some consideration later in the season.

6’5 right-hander Markus Solbach, who the Tigers signed as a minor-league free agent from the Dodgers organization, is trying to become the first German-born pitcher to pitch in a Major League game. He will continue to work Gabe Ribas, the Tigers new pitching director for the minor leagues, who was a pitching coordinator for the Dodgers while Solbach was there.  He throws three different fastballs, a cutter, two-seamer and a four-seamer to go with a curve and changeup.

Right-hander Wilmer Flores, who appeared in the Arizona Fall League in 2021, is a pitcher that came out of nowhere last season.  His performance at Lakeland last season raised eyebrows across the system. Once again, credit should be given to the Tigers scouting department on finding a potentially undrafted gem.

Brendan White, the Tigers 26th round draft pick out of Siena College in 2019, posted better numbers as a reliever than as a starter at his time at West Michigan last season. Another strong number to consider is his K per 9 against lefties, which was 12.1 against 155 batters faced.

RJ Petit, another 2021 draft pick out of 14th round out of Charleston Southern University, has a fastball that was touching 97 at Lakeland, has plenty of upsides to watch out for. He quickly made it three levels in 2021 after being drafted so it is possible we could see him start in High-A West Michigan.