Detroit Tigers News

3 Detroit Tigers pitching prospects to keep eyes on to end 2022

Tyler Kotila
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 12: A general view of Comerica Park during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 6-0. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 12: A general view of Comerica Park during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 6-0. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Tigers pitching prospect Wilmer Flores goes through drills during spring training minor league minicamp on Friday, Feb.18, 2022 at Tiger Town in Lakeland, Florida. /

Wilmer Flores, RHP, Double-A Erie SeaWolves

One of the players who has caught my attention personally is Wilmer Flores, though I’m not talking about the middle infielder who went viral early on in his career for showing a ton of emotion on the field after being told he was traded.

His brother, with the same name, was signed by the Detroit Tigers after the 2020 MLB Draft, joining the team from Arizona Western College. He was not given a lot of projectability, being viewed as someone who could be a future bullpen piece.

He vaulted himself up the Top-30 prospect list and has shown he still has an upside as a starter. Flores has spent the summer of 2022 between the High-A West Michigan squad and the Double-A Erie team.

Now, as the 2022 season winds down, he should be aiming to finish strong. Ending on a high note could set him up in a good spot going into 2023. Flores has made 16 starts for the Erie SeaWolves, where he managed a 2.51 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

He’s picked up 79 punchouts over 71.2 innings pitched and shown improved command of the pitch mix top to bottom. He’s been able to improve his fastball command and even been able to run the heater up into the upper-90s from time to time during his starts.

His breaking ball is a high-spin curveball that he uses for whiffs. He’ll throw it in any count with little fear, being a pitch that he is confident in. He also shows a cutter that has a tight break with a horizontal movement in the upper-80s.

He also mixes in a changeup, but the breaker and cutter are the two primary offspeed offerings. Here’s a look from Geoff Pontes of Baseball America, showcasing this pitch mix.

The point is that Flores has settled in as a starter, using that pitch mix to have success and attack hitters. There’s plenty to like about the right-hander with upside moving forward. The Tigers should hope he finishes strong and earns a rotation spot for 2023, with a chance to move up.

With a new regime coming into the front office, an undrafted free agent performing as well as Flores has is going to be hoping for a smooth finish to the season. Ending on a high note could result in starting off on the right foot with a new front office regime.

It’s not that Flores is on bad terms or anything like that, but it’s one of those “put your best foot forward” situations where he can continue climbing with a strong finish.

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