Detroit Tigers: Minor league pitchers to watch in 2022

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Detroit Tigers
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Beau Brieske is an under-the-radar Detroit Tigers pitching prospect.

Brieske was a 2019 selection out of Colorado State-Pueblo where he had inflated earned run numbers resulting from pitching on a mountain 5,000 ft above sea level. His strikeout numbers were excellent (13.1 K/9), however, and he became a 27th round selection in 2019. He entered the minors right away, reaching Lakeland (A+) in just three months between June and August of 2019.

He has been a high riser in the system as a result of his immense improvement between 2019 and 2021. The biggest improvement has been in his command, as he saw a drop in BB/9 from 4.4 to  a measly 1.9. He made it to AA Erie on the back of a 5.04 SO/Walk ratio and 1.01 WHIP.

Brieske has a strong three-pitch arsenal that he mixes extremely well in terms of makeup. His fastball sits around 92-94, touching 96 mph on occasion. He spots it in every part of the zone and changes speed with it to throw hitters off. His best secondary offering is his changeup, which has deep fade and some sink that helps it generate tons of whiffs.

He has flashed a loopy 12-to-6 curve on the breaking front but has relied primarily on a slider he developed over 2020. It has a heavy gyro, meaning it falls far more than it slides, and though it is a new offering, he has shown the ability to locate it effectively at times.

His delivery has a few moving parts but is generally repeatable. He has a high arm slot that works to tunnel his fastball and changeup, making both play off each other even better. The most interesting and involved part of his mechanics is how he shifts his head out of line on release to add more space for his arm out over the top.