Detroit Tigers left-handed prospect Gabe Sequeira has the potential to continue to build after a successful 2021 season.
The evolution of a pitcher never stops. For anyone who is aiming to play in the major leagues, you seize every opportunity. The work to improve never stops For the Detroit Tigers left-hander Gabe Sequeira, the change in his mechanics gave him an opportunity to stand out in Lakeland in 2021.
Who is Gabe Sequeira?
Sequeira signed as an undrafted free agent on July 10th, 2020, the same day the Detroit Tigers signed right-hander Wilmer Flores, Nick Davilla and Chris Mauloni, who all pitched for the Flying Tigers in 2021. He went to Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas, which has some strong Detroit Tigers ties.
If you take US-290 Frontage and Barker Cypress Road, then drive up to Cypress North Houston Road, and make a u-turn at Layla Renee Dr from Cypress Creek High, you will run into Cy-Fair High School. That’s where Tigers outfielder Robbie Grossman went to high school and former Houston Astros pitcher Woody Williams. From there, drive up US-290 Frontage again to Cypress North Houston Road and you will find Cypress Ranch High School, where 2021 first-round draft Tigers pick Ty Madden once pitched.
They are all part of the Cypress-Fairbanks School District or CFISD. The amount of talent there is tremendous. He was on the same team as Cardinals right-hander Jordan Hicks. He was a multiple sport athlete, which he spoke about when talking to Alvaro Montano of the Chron.com back when he was first signed.
"“Sequeira said it helps to be a multi-sport athlete in high school because it not only allows different parts of the body to develop but also develops different mindsets and how someone would handle things under pressure.“Don’t doubt your ability; always strive to be the best version of yourself, no matter what anyone says, you know yourself better than anyone else,” Sequeira said.”"
After three seasons at Sam Houston State, he went to Texas Wesleyan University, home of notable players such as outfielder Paul O’Neil and Hall of Fame player Tris Speaker. In one of his starts that helped him attract area scouts’ attention, he struck out 16.
What stands out the most was changing his delivery from a mid 3/4 angle to being a sidearm pitcher, which allows for more deception in his delivery. The change happened when one member on the Tigers development staff noticed during pitching field practice how he sling the ball to first with some heat and with accuracy. The team asked if he would be willing to change and he immediately agreed.
He throws what has been classified as a sinker, four-seam fastball, a slider and curve. His ability to throw four pitches makes him effective at changing the eye level on the hitter, as you can see here in his time from Lakeland.
Look beyond the title of the video and notice how he can elevate his fastball to both sides of the plate, then throw the off-speed down and in on righties and sweeps away on left-handers. His sinker was able to generate a 32% CSW rate in 2021. The CSW rate, created by Alex Fast and Nick Pollack of Pitcher List, is called strikes plus whiffs, divided by total pitches. Combined that with a strikeout rate of 34.4%, which was the highest among Tigers pitchers to throw at least 40 innings or more.
He produced one of the highest K/9 in the system at 13.97 with an impressive 74 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched. His FIP showed a better version of himself (2.48) compared to his 4.72 ERA and did not allow a home run after June 19th, which was over 35 innings of work.
In order for him to move up onto the next level, his walks would have to be reduced as he had a walk per 9 of 3.78. With any player in the minors, you have to go beyond the stat line to see what will happen next, but for Gabe Sequeira, he has made a good first impression.