Detroit Tigers Top 30 Prospects for 2023: 25-21
24. Mason Englert - RHP
The Detroit Tigers went out and selected right-handed pitcher Mason Englert during the MLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft this winter, snatching him from the Texas Rangers organization. He has upside as a prospect, landing himself on the MLB dot com Tigers Top 30 list in 2022 after being added in the Rule 5 Draft.
Englert's numbers in the minors have not been record-setting, but he's shown glimpses of what he can be. The right-hander pitched in 21 games with High-A Hickory in the Rangers system last year, where he pitched to a 3.57 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP over 103.1 innings pitched. He walked just 26 and punched out 116. Englert also made three starts at the Double-A level with the Frisco Roughriders. He pitched to a 4.11 ERA, logging 15.1 innings pitched, walking five, and punching out 20.
He underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2019 but is obviously back on the mound with a clean bill of health. The fastball works the mid-to-upper-90s. He pairs it with a changeup that has good arm-side fade to it. He also has a harder slider with good lateral shape to it. He has a curveball as the fourth offering but primarily relies on the fastball/slider/changeup.
He tunnels the fastball and changeup well with good replication of arm speed since both have some diving action. As mentioned, the slider trumps the curve with good 10-4 shape to it, having that horizontal break to it even with some tilt. It's a bit slurvy but solid; the curveball is more over the top with some tumble but has a less desirable break than the slider.
Englert has pace to his actions on the mound with an athletic delivery working down the mound. He's got a quick arm stroke through the delivery. His arms and legs are slightly disconnected as he gets into his leg lift, but minimal mechanical changes are easier to stomach than someone with the yips who struggles to get back in the zone and live there.
He commands his pitches quite well and competes in the zone; the big thing will be making the jump to the MLB level in 2023, which could be a tall ask. After being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, he has to stay on the Tigers roster and is going to get thrown into the fire at some point.
He'll pitch in relief for the Tigers and may earn himself an emergency start or two as the season goes on, but he projects as a future long relief option as a big leaguer. He slots in as the 24th-best prospect in the Tigers organization on our list here at MCB.