Detroit Tigers: Top 20 prospects going into the 2020 season

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Casey Mize, RHP, Double-A in 2019

Perhaps the prospect with the most excitement surrounding himself is Casey Mize, who was selected first overall in the 2018 MLB First-Year amateur draft out of Auburn University. Mize, now twenty-two, is working his way through the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

He has been assigned the most prospect “hype” after being named one of Pipeline’s top prospect arms to watch immediately since being selected in 2018. He spent 2019 under the spotlight, especially after being promoted from Single-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie, where he threw a no-hitter.

Mize is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed pitcher who leaves little to question for scouts/fans besides his durability. A common theme during his development has been an innings limit or being shut down due to long seasons, heavy workloads, or some arm issues.

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He is healthy heading into 2020, but some lingering arm tightness and the constant shutdowns at the end of every season is a little worrisome for his future value.

In 2019, Mize started in Single-A Lakeland, where he made six starts, was 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA, a 0.52 WHIP, and thirty strikeouts over 30.2 innings pitched before being promoted.

With Double-A Erie, Mize would make fifteen starts, maintaining a 6-3 record with a 3.20 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and seventy-six punch outs over 78.2 innings pitched. This stretch with Double-A Erie is where he was shut down at the end of 2019.

In total, he made twenty-one starts in 2019 with an 8-3 record, 2.55 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP, with 106 strikeouts over 109.1 innings pitched between the two affiliates.

Mize has a fastball that carries some late life to it that comes at hitters in the mid to upper 90s. He has a slider that is in the lower 80s with a more loopy/hanging break to it that tends to fool hitters, which he pairs with an upper 80s cut-fastball that has some sharp break to it.

His splitter/change-up has an excellent arm side run and sink movement that makes it fade nicely when executed well. He uses this pitch to induce swings and misses, especially to right-handed hitters when it fades in on the hands.

MLB Expectation: Mize has all the tools to be a future ace in the big leagues for the Detroit Tigers, but his durability does stunt this development. Manning has the projectability to stay durable, while Mize does not possess this durability that keeps him healthy.

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Hopefully, Mize can continue to show dominance on the mound and avoid any arm issues that may be lingering, affecting his longevity and projectability as a future Detroit Tigers ace. It’s time to see what Mize can do as he and Manning will battle it out for future ace of the Detroit Tigers staff.