Detroit Tigers Prospects

Detroit Tigers: 2 prospects that need a promotion and 1 that needs a demotion

Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila looks on before Grapefruit League action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium Friday, March 18, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida.Tigersphil
Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila looks on before Grapefruit League action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium Friday, March 18, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida.Tigersphil /
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RHP Reese Olson, Double-A to Triple A

Erie Seawolves pitcher Reese Olson
Erie Seawolves pitcher Reese Olson (18) throws a pitch against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, on April 21, 2022, at UPMC Park in Erie. The Squirrels won this second game of a doubleheader 8-3. The yellow horizontal home run line are shown in the background.P9seawolves042122 /

Acquired in the Daniel Norris trade last July, Olson has been a really nice find. He currently has a 3.20 ERA with 66 strikeouts in just 45 innings of work in Double-A Erie. His FIP is 2.16, which suggests he’s pitching better that he actually is. Considering the Tigers got this kid for pretty much nothing, Al Avila may have gotten this one right.

Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about Olson:

"“While Olson doesn’t profile as a power pitcher, his fastball can get to the mid-90s and a tick above when he wants, an improvement from the start of his pro career. His next step is to sustain velocity improvement without sacrificing command. Though his curveball was a preferred secondary pitch earlier in his career, he found success with a slider and a changeup last season, and is trying to sharpen the slider to play off the curve. Though Olson has a compact delivery, he can also struggle to get back in form when he falls out. He had eight outings with seven or more strikeouts, but he also had six outings with four-plus walks. Only once did he reach both in the same outing.”"

Olson was drafted in the 13th round of the 2018 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Considering the pitching factory that organization has become in recent years, it makes sense they would think they could afford to move on from a guy like him.

As Pipeline mentions, walks have been an issue for Olson in the past, but he’s only walking two batters per nine so far this year. Combine that with a 13.2 K/9 and you’ve got the makings of a pretty darn good pitcher on your hands.

Olson is overdue for a promotion at this point. It’s time to see what he can do against Triple-A hitters.

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