The Detroit Tigers farm system still has some diamonds in the rough.
The Detroit Tigers farm system is far from the best in the league. They are not chock-full of exciting talent, but there are some players that should leave fans excited about what could be. The catch is these players may not make it to Detroit in the long run.
There are a few players who the Detroit Tigers may consider keeping around. Even though there are players who "should" be kept around that will be traded, there is at least a crop of players who could have a genuinely positive impact on the Tigers roster moving forward.
Even though there are players who the Tigers have in the farm system who may not make their debuts in a Detroit uniform because of the roster purge, there are prospects who will see it through. That being said, let's take a bit of a dive into three players who have a shot at doing so.
These are prospects who offer something of benefit to the Tigers organization moving forward and may just be kept around to allow the Tigers to squeeze some benefit out of these players rather than trading them to reload the organization or trading them to upgrade an MLB-level need.
Detroit Tigers fans should be high on Jackson Jobe
"Leave Jackson Jobe alone." It's the message Motor City Bengals Co-Expert Matthew Scheidel uttered in a piece dating back to September. Scheidel penned a story about the scrutiny that Jackson Jobe faces because of the Tigers' choice to draft the prep arm over the prep shortstop, Marcelo Mayer, who the Boston Red Sox drafted.
On draft day, the Tigers fanbase watched as Jobe was the pick over Mayer, nearly rioting and lighting Comerica Park on fire. The hatred shared on various social media outlets was real. But, as Scheidel notes, it was time to move on.
Jobe still has plenty to offer. He may not be posting Joey Wentz AFL-type numbers or throwing perfect game after perfect game in the minors, but that is okay. The stuff that Jobe possesses has a real upside for the Tigers.
After all, this was an Al Avila-era draft pick, but it seems more like a Chris Fetter got his guy type of pick. Tigers fans know that Fetter loves himself a high-velocity fastball and high-spin slider combo pitcher. Jobe may not have the high-velocity fastball, and command has been wavering at times, but the slider has been every bit as good as expected.
I had to showcase one of those nasty sliders... but back to the regularly scheduled programming. Jobe spent the summer with the Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers, where he made 18 starts and totaled 61.2 innings pitched. Jobe pitched to a 4.52 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP while managing 25 walks to 71 punchouts.
He earned a late summer call-up to make a few starts with the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps, where he made three starts, totaling 15.2 innings pitched. He allowed just ten hits and two earned runs. He walked five but punched out ten opposing hitters.
The stats may not jump off the paper, but he brought an advanced pitch arsenal into affiliated ball with strides to be made as he learned to better sequence, attack hitters, and get outs. There was a Twitter thread from Trevor Hooth of WJR and Prospects Live that showcases precisely this.
Coming out of the draft, the high-spin fastball/slider was already good, and we knew that. Jobe needed to continue finding ways to climb the velocity ladder, throw more strikes (not hittable meatballs), and attack pro hitters with deceptiveness.
Ultimately, Jobe made strides to improve at those things during the 2022 season. I urge you to check out Hooth's thread linked above to see some clear examples of what I mean by attacking hitters and increasing his pitchability to pair with the gross stuff that he already has.
With a promising year in 2022, I think there are more than enough reasons to be excited about what Jobe could bring to the table moving forward. Tigers fans need to put the pick of Jobe over Mayer in the past and be excited about the development Jobe has shown to this point.