Our Top 30 Detroit Tigers prospect countdown continues with RHP Jackson Jobe
We now enter our top three Detroit Tigers prospects and kick it off with our best arm in the system: right-handed starting pitcher Jackson Jobe. Jobe was the third overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Heritage Hall High School (Oklahoma City, OK).
Jobe flew up draft boards in the 2021 cycle in part thanks to his slider, which drew several 70 grades from scouts around the game thanks to its wicked movement and big-time spin numbers. Since draft day, Jobe has been and will be compared to Boston Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer, who was the consensus first-overall selection for a good part of the draft cycle, with Detroit believed to be the absolute floor for Mayer. Of course, Jobe is part of the reason the Tigers were able to snag Ty Madden and Izaac Pacheco in their subsequent picks, both of who signed over slot.
The Tigers shut down Jobe in 2021 following their selection, although it's believed he did spend some time in Lakeland working on everything from strength and conditioning to mechanics to pitch design. In his pro debut season last year, Jobe would post a 3.84 ERA across two levels and 21 starts, but just 77.1 innings. Jobe averaged over a strikeout per inning while allowing 3.5 walks per nine.
Interestingly, Jobe really took off upon his promotion to West Michigan. The results in Low-A Lakeland were fairly pedestrian: a 4.52 ERA and averaging nearly a hit per inning across 18 of his starts. His final three starts of the year came with West Michigan and Jobe shoved: 1.15 ERA across 15 innings while averaging just 5.7 hits per nine. Small sample aside, Jobe stringing together any sort of consistency start-to-start is exciting.
Still just 20, it's likely Jobe starts 2023 in West Michigan where he left off, with a Double-A promotion conceivable mid-season if he picks up where he left off last year. While many have pegged Jackson Jobe as a future frontline horse, I'm a smidge lower than the crowd. While Jobe still contains immense potential and his age still suggests some development yet, I still see inconsistencies within his command and even inconsistencies with his slider movement that give me pause.
Still, even if Jobe is a mid-rotation arm, it's a massive value and still a hit as a top-three selection. With less than 100 innings under his pro belt, the Tigers and fans stand to learn a lot about Jackson Jobe over the 2023 season.