Detroit Tigers announce two minor league pitcher promotions
RHP Wilmer Flores and RHP Garrett Hill were both promoted by the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
The Detroit Tigers announced that RHP Wilmer Flores was being promoted from High-A West Michigan to Double-A Erie, and in turn that RHP Garrett Hill would be promoted from Erie to Triple-A Toledo Wednesday afternoon.
Neither of these moves should be particularly surprising, as they have both dominated at their respective levels. Flores has a 1.83 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched for the Whitecaps this season, while Hill has a 2.25 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 32 innings with the SeaWolves.
Flores has made lots of noise as of late thanks to his swing-and-miss stuff. He has a wicked mid-90s fastball with tons of life, and Midwest League hitters were no match for it.
The questions for him has always been whether he sticks as a starter or transitions to a reliever. Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say regarding that:
"“Tigers officials believe Flores has Major League stuff, but the role is up for debate. He arguably has two pitches to be an effective reliever and advanced quickly, but an improved changeup could be the step that makes him a successful starter. “"
If he can keep making strides with that changeup, Flores should become the next prized pitching prospect for the Detroit Tigers.
Hill is a bit older at 26, but he’s also been a bit of a late bloomer. He was a 26th-round pick back in 2018, and has posted solid numbers all throughout his career. He opened some eyes at the Arizona Fall League last year.
Here’s Pipeline’s scouting report on Hill:
"“Hill’s fastball sits in the low 90s, but he has an assortment of breaking balls to go with a nasty splitter. When he does allow contact, it tends to be on the ground. He has allowed just eight home runs over 237 1/3 innings in his Minor League career. The big question with Hill has been how much advantage he has gained being an older pitcher at each level, though he looked solid against Detroit’s top prospects in Minor League minicamp.”"
Unlike Flores, Hill has lots of weapons to work with, which helps him keep hitters off balance. His ability to keep the ball in the yard during his career has been quite impressive. It would not be surprising to see him make the trip up I-75 to Detroit before the year is out.
The Detroit Tigers continue to show that they still have pitching depth in their system. The promotions of Flores and Hill are well-earned for both. Hopefully they continue to improve.