Detroit Tigers: Tarik Skubal has vaulted himself into top cluster of prospects

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers struck gold with starting pitcher Tarik Skubal and his emergence as a top prospect.

The Detroit Tigers selected Tarik Skubal in the ninth round of the 2018 MLB Draft, taking an unusual journey to the top of the prospects list. In terms of pitching, Skubal may not be THE top prospect in the system, but he has vaulted into the top three arms in the organization.

Skubal is a southpaw, standing 6-foot-3, and weighing in at 215 pounds for the Tigers. Skubal is yet to make his big league debut in the big leagues, but he has progressed and developed immensely. He was going to be a dark horse candidate during the 2020 season for big things,

The product of Seattle University has battled through Tommy John Surgery and has rebounded quite nicely. In fact, he grinded his way into Major League Baseball’s top 100 prospect list. Skubal spent the 2019 season between the Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers affiliate and the Double-A Erie Seawolves affiliate.

He pitched in fifteen games, with a 4-5 record while posting a 2.58 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 97 strikeouts over 80.1 innings pitched with the Single-A affiliate. Worthy of a promotion, Skubal made the jump to the Double-A Seawolves rotation.

With the Seawolves, Skubal made nine starts, accumulating a 2-3 record. Skubal managed a 2.13 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and 82 strikeouts over 42.1 innings pitched. Skubal would have most likely made the jump to Triple-A and earned his chance to develop further at the last minor league level.

Tarik Skubal’s stuff on the mound is what has helped him vault into the Detroit Tigers’ top prospects.

The southpaw has a high over the top/three-quarters arm slot allowing him to issue pitches with good command. He does have a high leg kick in his windup that has become a staple of his mechanics. He is a four-pitch mix pitcher who relies heavily on a fastball, breaker, changeup.

Skubal has a mid-90s fastball that he can reach back and grab a few extra mph to get him into the upper-90s on occasion. The slider that Skubal throws has more of a tight break on it, and is one of his newer offspeed pitches he developed.

His more reliable breaking ball is the curveball that has more of the 12-6/11-5 motion to it as he uses that to induce swings and misses. It could genuinely be considered as a “hammer” curveball and frankly, is just really pretty to watch from the southpaw.

On top of that, Skubal has a beautiful left-hander changeup with some arm-side sink that is just so pleasant to watch. Skubal does a great job using his arsenal of pitches, and it shows in his recent numbers. The strikeout numbers have been incredible and ideally just the beginning for him.

The Detroit Tigers may not view Tarik Skubal as the top pitching prospect, but he’s up there.

When taking a look at the Detroit Tigers organization and all of the top pitching prospects, Skubal has found his way into the top grouping of pitchers. It is no secret that Matt Manning has emerged as the pitching prospect who should ideally be the best in the future.

The top grouping of pitchers consists of Manning, Casey Mize, Franklin Perez, and Skubal. Personally, Skubal is the most exciting pitching prospect within the organization and is going to provide the most intriguing development as a former ninth-round pick.

The Tigers may not see Skubal as part of the immediate future and immediate plans, but he will prove to be one of the best once he gets his shot in the big leagues. It has become quite exciting to watch Skubal’s development, especially after rebounding from Tommy John Surgery.

light. Trending. Detroit Tigers: Top 20 prospects going into the 2020 season

The future of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff is bright, and Tarik Skubal is just one of the many exciting pieces to watch for in the future.