Detroit Tigers: Prospect Joey Wentz is not meeting expectations

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

The Detroit Tigers have grown their farm system over the last few seasons. Adding pitching depth is something that they have consistently been able to do. Recently some less then ideal news was released when it comes to left-handed starter Joey Wentz.

The Detroit Tigers prospect southpaw was shut down for the remainder of the 2021 season to protect his arm. While there was no injury concern right now, it was viewed as a precautionary move to avoid another arm injury.

There has been some serious adversity for the left-hander who has had several lengthy Injured List (IL) stints since being acquired by the Tigers in 2019 after dealing closer Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves.

Wentz was a former first-round pick of the Braves from the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft out of high school. The left-hander has worked his way up the ranks and is ranked as the Tigers’ thirteenth best prospect in the team’s top thirty.

Detroit Tigers prospect Joey Wentz has not met expectations yet.

After coming off of Tommy John surgery, shutting him down is not the most shocking decision. But the fact is, he has not been the pitcher the Tigers thought they were getting. The injuries are not something that the Tigers were expecting, but it sucks to see that trade look less and less like it could be a “win” for the organization.

His 2021 numbers were not all that bad once he got to Double-A, but the struggles in Lakeland early on do not fare well for his statistics. He needs to continue making strides if he wants to wind up meeting expectations.

In Single-A with the Lakeland Flying Tigers, Wentz made five starts where he had a 6.75 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP  before getting the bump to Double-A Erie. With the Seawolves, he was able to flip the script and have a much better performance.

Wentz made thirteen Double-A starts where he had a 3.71 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, and 58 strikeouts over 53.1 innings pitched. While his command has been an issue, as is seen with his somewhat high WHIP and 5.6 BB/9.

It’s not to say that the book is closed on Wentz, who could very well still wind up being a middle-of-the-range starting pitcher who the Tigers mix into the back of their rotation. He needs to stage a comeback.

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As it stands, he has not been able to live up to what the Tigers would have hoped, but coming off of Tommy John, it’s going to be hard to. The jury is not out yet, but in year two, after Tommy John, he needs to carve it up in the minors.