Detroit Tigers' top prospect's incredible debut means more beyond the surface

After battling injuries and criticism, the Detroit Tigers gave Jackson Jobe his opportunity on Tuesday. He made his Spring Training debut, and it means a lot more than just him throwing 100 mph in a clean inning.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Jackson Jobe walks off the field after practice during spring training at
Detroit Tigers pitcher Jackson Jobe walks off the field after practice during spring training at / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Tigers sent one of their star youngsters to the mound in Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins. They sent Jackson Jobe to the mound. He put together a dazzling outing, being able to go out there and captivate with his performance in his Spring Training debut.

It was an outing that should mean a lot to Detroit Tigers fans, seeing the former third-overall pick go out and get the job done. Jobe was downright phenomenal on the mound and pieced together a quality outing in Spring Training. Surely, things could change over time, but he showed some quality signs of development with his performance in his debut.

Jobe was able to make his pitches with conviction and, more notably, throw 100 mph. The fastball was working for him, getting up above 101 mph and being labeled as 102 mph on the Bally Sports broadcast, though it was 101.6 mph on Statcast. Either way, Jobe was bringing the heat on Tuesday.

The 2024 season will be a big year for Jobe, but he made some real noise with his start on Tuesday. His prowess on the mound stood out, and being able to work over 100 mph on the fastball had to be worth something. On top of that, the Tigers faithful got a taste of what Jobe could be for the team down the line.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Jackson Jobe put together an impressive outing.

Jobe was the third overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, to the chagrin of many. But in his time with the Tigers organization as a prospect, he has proven that there's a ton of value to him, navigating injuries. Plus, his abilities on the mound have stood out when he is healthy. He's a high-upside pitcher with tons of things to like about his stuff.

I knew Jobe could work into the upper 90s and that the velocity was there, but I had no idea he was going to work into the triple digits. It was pretty awesome to see him go you and touch 100+ several times in his inning of work. Though, I will say, I'm not sure this happens consistently in his time as a starter.

Jobe showed off his filthy slider, too. It's been a filthy pitch since his prep days, but the slider has downright impressive shape. It's 10-4 with great depth, high spin, and a ton of movement to it. There's just tons to like about Jobe.

But, with his impressive outing on Tuesday, there's something to be said. If Jobe continues along this arc, he could end up being in the big leagues sooner than later. He has a chance to keep progressing if he can go out and show stuff like this in 2024.

In 2023, Jobe made 16 starts across four levels, with a bulk of those coming in Single-A Lakeland and High-A West Michigan. In his 16 starts, Jobe accumulated 64.0 innings pitched with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He walked ONLY six batters and struck out 84 opposing hitters.

Pretty gnarly BB/K splits there. Not to mention holding opponents to a .230 average and just looking the part on the mound. He still has a long road ahead, but there's a real chance Jobe can quickly elevate himself through the levels with performances like he showed on Tuesday.

There's a real reason to believe that Jobe could move up his ETA if he can show success like he did in 2023, with stuff on display like he showed everyone on Tuesday. His outing said a lot, and it should leave fans really excited about what Jobe could bring to the Tigers moving forward.