Detroit Tigers: Top 20 prospects going into the 2020 season

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Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

Paul Richan, RHP, Single-A in 2019

Unlike Castro, who was signed back in 2011, Paul Richan is new to the Detroit Tigers organization after being traded to the team in 2019. Richan came over to the Tigers in the trade involving outfielder Nicholas Castellanos who was sent to the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Alex Lange and Richan.

Richan himself has also only been in the affiliated ball for two years after being selected by the Cubs in the 2018 First-Year Amateur Player Draft in the supplemental second round out of the University of San Diego. Richan is also a right-handed pitcher who stands 6-foot-2, 200-pounds.

The twenty-two-year-old split time between the Single-A Cubs affiliate in Myrtle Beach and the Tigers Single-A affiliate the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Throughout 2019, Richan totaled twenty-two starts for a total of 123.2 innings pitched. He pitched himself to a 12-7 record with a 4.00 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He managed only to walk twenty batters on the season while striking out 115 and giving up 135 hits.

Castro has a four-pitch arsenal featuring a fastball, changeup, curveball, and slider. His fastball sits in the low 90s (90-93 mph) with his slider coming in around the low to mid-80s (80-84 mph). His changeup features a very noticeable arm side run that can be lethal to right-handed hitters when located well.

No matter what handedness the batter is, Richan tends to keep his curveball, arm side, pounding the righties inside with a 12-6 breaking ball. His slider, however, is more vertical, which he uses to induce swings and misses from hitters. All in all, Richan will attack the left-handed hitters inside. His delivery is very motionless, not much movement going on at all, making him have very fluent mechanics, and smooth delivery.

Richan can command all of his pitches, with his fastball and slider leading the way, he is not afraid to challenge hitters even though he may not throw gas. Richan will go after hitters with his fastball and then come back with the heater to challenge the hitter or try and get the hitter to chase with the biting slider.

MLB Expectation: Richan has the tools necessary to become a big-league starter, but an overpowering go-to arm is not in his future. Richan is more likely to be a back-end starter for the Detroit Tigers if he is lucky. With the pitching prospect strength, he may become a depth arm or a reliable long relief addition for the team. The thing that bodes well for him is his ability to locate pitches.