Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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Matt O’Brien didn’t get the win, but he threw a nice game as Lakeland topped Tampa 1-0. He gave up just two hits with two strikeouts in six shutout innings. Jordan Tata picked up his first win with two shutout frames.
Scott Sizemore drove in the lone run of the game for either side. Shawn Roof singled and he scored the only run.
It’s tough when you blow a 9-3 lead but that’s what happened tonight as Lakeland lost to Fort Myers 10-9. Freddy Dolsi gave up a two run homer in the bottom of the ninth and that hit decided the game. Jordan Tata made his season debut after starting the season the disabled list. He gave up four runs and he walked four in just 2/3 of an inning.
Justin Justice was the hitting star in the loss. He went three for four with a three run homer and two runs.
Jordan Tata had a rough start as the Mud Hens lost to Durham 9-5. The loss now puts them in a situation where they have to win three straight games to advance to Governor’s Cup finals. Tata gave up six runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts in five innings.
Erick Almonte provided the bulk of the Mud Hens offense in the game. He went three for four with a triple, four RBIs and a run.
The Mud Hens were held to just three base hits in a 4-0 loss to the Clippers. Erick Almonte was the only Hen hitter to reach base twice. He tripled and drew a walk.
Jordan Tata had a pretty nice start go to waste and he fell to 4-5. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings.
Jordan Tata fell to 4-4 on the season despite a decent start in the Hens 3-2 loss to Louisville. He gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Omar Infante went two for four with a double in the loss. Brent Clevlen went two for three and he doubled as well.
Jordan Tata improved to 4-3 on the season with another nice start in the Hens 8-4 win over Indianapolis. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Mike Hessman belted his 30th homerun of the season for the Hens. He also tripled, drove in two runs and scored twice. Brent Clevlen went two for four with a solo homerun and two runs.
The Red Sox took care of the Hens 3-2 in a less then stellar offensive display. Give them some credit though because with guys like Mike Hessman and Ryan Raburn playing for the big league club, you have a big chunk of this team’s offense gone at least compared to a month ago.
One of the runs for the Hens came on a solo homerun by Henry Mateo. Jack Hannahan doubled and he scored the other run.
A terrific start by Jordan Tata went to waste. He gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts in eight innings of work.
Jordan Tata dropped to 3-3 on the season with a rough start in the Hens 5-3 loss to Norfolk. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Erick Almonte was the hitting star in the loss. He went two for four with a run and an RBI.
Jordan Tata put together a nice start but a fielding error by Chris Shelton in the bottom of the sixth inning led to two unearned runs that cost the Hens in their 3-2 loss to Charlotte. Tata fell to 3-2 and he gave up three runs (just the one earned) on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Timo Perez put the Hens on the board in the first inning with a two run homer but that’s all the Hens would score the rest of the way. Chris Shelton had the only other hit of the game with a single.
Jordan Tata improved to 3-1 on the season with a nice start in the Mud Hens 2-1 win over Louisville. He gave up just three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven shutout innings.
Jack Hannahan had a solo homerun in the win. Kevin Hooper went two for three with a double, a walk and a run.
Mike Hessman belted a two run homer in the Hens 7-5 loss to the Bulls and while that in and of itself isn’t very spectacular, the face that he now has 81 RBIs in 81 games is. The homerun was his 25th of the season which is also an impressive figure. And while his walk rate isn’t good, it’s not great. If there’s one knock, it’s the 103 strikeouts that he has. That’s an awful lot at any level.
Anastacio Martinez took the loss and he gave up three runs in one inning of work. Jordan Tata didn’t have all that great of a start. He gave up four runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings.
The Mud Hens took care of Ottawa 8-5 and while Mike Hessman went just one for four, that one hit was a two run homer that gave Hessman 23 on the season. The third baseman is having a nice season and he’s driven in 75 runs in 76 games and his slugging percentage is an impressive .589. He is a journeyman at 29 years old and the Braves gave up on him but this is a particularly good season. You almost feel bad for him because he has Brandon Inge blocking his way up but with a season like this, you wonder if it’ll get him some notice.
Chris Maples had a timely hit in the win as well. He went one for three with a double and three RBIs. Jack Hannahan went one one for one with four walks and three runs.
Jordan Tata improved to 2-1 on the season with a nice start. He gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in seven solid innings.
Jordan Tata picked up his first win of the season with a nice start in the Hens 8-2 win over Ottawa. He gave up two runs on nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
Timo Perez went two for five with a double, a homerun and three RBIs. Mike Hessman hit a solo homerun and Henry Mateo went three for four with a double, an RBI and two runs.
David Espinosa had four hits and two RBIs in the Mud Hens 5-2 win over the Chiefs. Chris Maples also had a nice game and he went two for three with one RBI and one run.
Jordan Tata had a nice start but he didn’t pick up the decision. He gave up two runs on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts. Preston Larrison picked up the win with 2 1/3 shutout innings.
Kevin Hooper singled home Henry Mateo in the bottom of the eleventh inning to win it for the Mud Hens. Ryan Rayburn had a nice day at the plate in the 3-2 win. He went three for five with a solo homerun and Hooper finished with three hits and two RBIs.
Jordan Tata threw five shutout innings in his start. Ian Ostlund picked up the win and he threw a shutout eleventh inning.
The Mud Hens were blown out by Buffalo this afternoon 9-3 and Jordan Tata was hit hard. He was tagged for six runs on six hits with two strikeouts in just 2 1/3 innings. Given an assist to Eulogio De La Cruz, who just got promoted from Double A. He walked five batters in just one inning and he allowed a couple of Tata’s runs to score while also allowing three of his own.
Ryan Rayburn hit a two run shot in the first inning. The homerun was his twelth of the year. He’s had a decent season for the Mudhens and while his .284 batting average is only decent, he has an impressive 43/39 strikeout to walk ratio which gives him a .400+ OBP. At one point, he was considered a prospect but he’s now 26 and with Placido Polanco and even Omar Infante in his way, he could see quite a bit of time in the minors. A September callup isn’t out of the question though.
The Mud Hens beat the Yankees 7-0 and Ron Chiavacci got it done on the mound. He gave up four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings of relief. Jordan Tata made his first start of the season and he threw three scoreless frames.
Ryan Rayburn walked in all five of his at bats and he scored twice in the win. Mike Hessman went two for five and he belted a grand slam.
Alright, the Tigers made some cuts today and none of them were big surprises. Probably the most optimistic move was announcing that Kyle Sleeth will start at Double A. After a solid spring, the former first round draft pick will get the promotion despite struggling last year in the minors. Having Kyle Sleeth there will make keeping track of Erie a little more interesting.
2006 first round draft pick Andrew Miller will head to Lakeland as expected. Virgil Vazquez and Jordan Tata were both bumped to Triple A Jair Jurrjens, Gabe Johnson and Dusty Ryan will all report to minor league camp and their status in the Tigers’ system is still uncertain.
The Tigers number five prospect is Eulogio De la Cruz and he was also across the board amongst the three lists. John Sickels rated him highest at third but he also finished as low as ninth on Kevin Goldstein’s list (you can find the lists on the left sidebar). A seventh place finish with Baseball America put him just one point ahead of Jordan Tata and Brent Clevlen.
De la Cruz was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001 and he made his minor league debut in 2003 in the Gulf Coast League. He had a solid if erratic showing and he struck out 30 in only 24 1/3 innings before heading to a very short (3 1/3 relief innings) stint at Oneonta. Walks were a problem and he walked 16 in 27 2/3 total minor league innings in 2003. In 2004 he got bumped up to West Michigan where once again he struggled with his walks. He issued 33 free passes versus 44 strikeouts in 54 innings as the Whitecaps closer and he picked up 17 saves along the way.
In 2005, he made some major strides and even got some time in the rotation. At Lakeland, he struck out 97 and only walked 36 in 95 2/3 innings. He got into one game in at Erie but he was pummelled and once again reverted to his walking ways (four walks in 1 2/3 innings). In 2006 he debuted at Erie and regressed just a bit. His strikeout rate went down and his walk rate went up but he was solid enough to warrant getting into one game at Toledo, where like his other short stints, he got shelled.
De la Cruz is an interesting prospect though because he’s moved up the minor league ladder very methodically. He should start the season at Toledo this year and if he pans out, you could see him in the Tigers pen next year. Also keep in mind he doesn’t turn 23 until March 12 and the kid can touch 100 mph on the gun so at best he could be the second coming of Joel Zumaya and at worst he’s probably going to be a 12th or 13th pitcher on the team who sees time only when someone else goes down. Once again, I kind of wish he were a left hander because if he were, you’d be hearing more about him.
Jordan Tata comes in as the sixth best prospect using my highly scientific algorithm. Remember he was actually tied with Brent Clevlen but he finished sixth on both the Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus lists but John Sickels only had him at ninth, which probably cost him one or two spots in the order.
Tata was the Tigers sixteenth round pick back in 2003 and he’s a bit older then most prospects although he moved up the minor league ladder pretty quickly. He put together solid season at West Michigan in 2004 and Lakeland in 2005 but he was a touch older then most of the prospects playing there. Then in 2006, he pitched for the Tigers after Todd Jones started the season on the DL where he got hit pretty hard. He then went down to Triple A Toledo and put together a good but not great season. In 21 starts, he finished 10-6 with a 3.84 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 122 innings. He then played in the Arizona Fall League where he was solid in six starts. Tata keeps the ball down and while he won’t normally strike out a ton of guys, he won’t give up a bunch of long balls either.
Tata is one of those guys who you’d be more excited about if the Tigers weren’t so deep in pitching. As it is, even with Humberto Sanchez being traded, Tata has a bunch of pitchers in front of him before he’ll find time on the big league club, especially as a starter. So Tata will probably find his way back in Toledo without much to prove there as a 26 year old.
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