Detroit Tigers: Early comparison of Kyle Funkhouser to Buck Farmer

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

It may be too early to tell,  but Kyle Funkhouser could be the Detroit Tigers newest rendition of Buck Farmer.

The Detroit Tigers selected Kyle Funkhouser during the fourth round of the 2016 First-Year Amateur Draft, now in 2020 he has made his debut in Major League Baseball. It may be too early to get a feel for how he will perform in the big leagues.

Funkhouser is a product of Louisville, playing his four years of college there before getting drafted and moving into the minor league system for the Tigers. It has not been the smoothest of roads for Funkhouser who has been battling and moving up through the organization.

Most of his struggles came during his time with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens but given the way things have unfolded for the 2020 season, he found his way into the extended pitching staff. After making the team out of Summer Camp, Funkhouser has not looked the best.

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So far in 2020, Funkhouser has made nine appearances totaling 12.1 innings pitched allowing 18 hits, 10 earned runs, and walking five hitters while striking out eight hitters. His current ERA is stationed at 7.30 ERA, with a 1.87 WHIP which is not the best look for the righty.

The Tigers have let him finish off four games, and while he has thrown five scoreless outings, he has had one blow-up outing to kick off the season in his big league debut. As it wouldn’t be too typical for a rough outing against Cleveland, but Funkhouser has had a few.

Funkhouser is a four-pitch mix according to his baseball savant profile, having a four-seam, slider, sinker, and change-up in his arsenal. In 2020, he has not made the debut that he was hoping for, but Funkhouser can easily fix these issues and become more of a solid reliever.

Another one of the Tigers starters followed a similar course as a starter who did not work out as well as a starter but has settled in nicely during his time in the bullpen.

The Detroit Tigers may have another version of Buck Farmer as Kyle Funkhouser continues to develop.

When the Detroit Tigers brought Buck Farmer up into the system it was expected that he would be a starting pitcher, but as most Tigers fans know, his tenure as a starter was not great. The Tigers have not trotted Farmer out as a starter, more than once in a season, since the 2017 season.

In his seventh year as a part of the Tigers organization, now twenty-nine, Farmer has become a reliable reliever on the backend of games. The Tigers may have a new version of Farmer in the form of Funkhouser.

While Funkhouser is only twenty-six, he has not gotten that experience that Farmer has in the big leagues. Funkhouser’s days of trying to be a big-league starter may be over before it starts, but Farmer’s ability as a sturdy backend reliever has been solid.

If Funkhouser can replicate some of the recently found success that Farmer has had, the Tigers might be able to breed another future reliever for their bullpen. Now, Funkhouser has only pitched 12.1 innings in the big leagues, and it may be too early to close the door on him as a starter, but still.

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Funkhouser’s future is still unknown, but he could become an effective reliever similar to Buck Farmer which should be considered as a win for the organization.