Tigers minor league report: HR king Hessman making call-up bid

The Detroit News

Triple A Toledo

Who's hot …

Mike Hessman, 1B: The minor leagues' grand old man (37) is a record-holding homer hitter who is also bidding for a September shot in Detroit. Hessman, in what could be his final season as a player, is batting .462 in his last 10 games. He is 6-5, 215, and has had earlier visits to Detroit.

Drew VerHagen, RH reliever: 1.80 ERA in his last 10 games, with 16 strikeouts and 13 hits in 20 innings. VerHagen was a fourth-round grab (Vanderbilt) by the Tigers in 2012. He's 6-6, 230.

And who's not …

Dixon Machado, SS: He had it going early in the season, but it's been a south-bound flight the last month. In his last 10 games, Machado, 23, is batting .139. He's at .196 spanning the last 30 days.

Double A Erie

Who's hot …

Harold Castro, 2B: Batting .353 in his last 10 games, which is a nice gain for a 21-year-old who once looked as if he had a meaningful future. Needs a big 2016, probably at Erie, to put this 6-foot, 165-pound left-handed batter on a promising track.

Joe Mantiply, LH reliever: 1.61 ERA in his last 10 games, 2.61 on the season, with a strong 1.18 WHIP. Mantiply, 24, is 6-4, 215, and was a 27th-rounder (Virginia Tech) in 2013.

And who's not …

Slade Smith, RH reliever: Simply an inconsistent summer for Smith, 24, whom the Tigers snagged in the 17th round (Auburn) in 2012. Too many hits (36) and walks (13) in the 29 innings he has worked since joining Erie.

Single A Lakeland

Who's hot …

Gabe Hemmer, RH reliever: Nice summer for Hemmer, 24, who came to the Tigers in 2014 (24th round) from San Diego Christian. In his eight games since being promoted from West Michigan: 0.49 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He is 6-3, 220.

Kevin Ziomek, LH starter: Still in and out, but had back-to-back scoreless outings ahead of allowing three runs in six innings Friday. In his last 10 games: 2.98 ERA. Ziomek was a second-round choice (Vanderbilt) by the Tigers in 2013.

Francisco Martinez, 3B: Granted, it's his second time in the Tigers' bushes, but at 24, Martinez can dream, especially when he's been batting near .300 the past 10 days. He is 6-2, 200, and bats right-handed.

And who's not …

Tigers, relative to performance levels, get passing grades this week.

Single A West Michigan

Who's hot …

Christin Stewart, OF: He was Detroit's second pick in June and has broken in satisfactorily: .316 in his last 10 games, with a pair of home runs. Stewart bats left-handed, played at Tennessee, and is 6-foot, 205 pounds.

Kade Scivicque, C: Another low-round (fourth) pick from June, Scivicque has hit since he had an early cameo at Single A Connecticut ahead of his move to the Whitecaps. In his last 10 games: .341, with one home run. He bats right-handed, stands 5-11, weighs 223.

Joey Pankake, 2B: .325 in his last 10 games, .303 spanning the last month. Pankake, 22, was a seventh-round option for the Tigers in 2014 (South Carolina). He bats right-handed and is 6-2, 185.

Trey Teakell, RH reliever: A ninth-round pick in June (Texas Christian), Teakell was a knockout at Single A Connecticut even before he got to West Michigan, where, in seven games, he has an 0.77 ERA. Teakell, 23, is 6-5, 175.

Joe Jimenez, RH reliever: Nothing changes with Jimenez, who is only 20. His bold season numbers: 34 games, 36 innings, 21 hits, 53 strikeouts, 10 walks. He is 6-3, 220.

And who's not …

A week off, as well, for the Whitecaps.

Single A Connecticut

Who's hot …

Victor Padron, LF: Has been hitting since he arrived at Norwich, Conn., for his first taste of Single A ball. In his last 10 games: .386. On the season (41 games): .340. He bats left-handed, turned 21 last month, and is 5-8, 160, signed out of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

Patrick Mackenzie, 2B: Tigers took a shot at Mackenzie in the 28th round of June's draft after this Royal Oak native finished a nice career at Central Michigan. Mackenzie is 23, measures in at 5-8, 170, and bats left-handed.

Tyler Alexander and Matt Hall (LH pitchers), and Drew Smith (RH pitchers): All of these early round picks from June have been starring, consistently, with respective ERAs of 0.72, 0.33, and 2.57.

And who's not …

Jack Fischer, RH reliever: 5.65 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 11 games. Tigers made him a 26th-round pickup in the 2014 after he pitched at Wake Forest.

Gulf Coast League (Rookie)

Who's hot …

Beau Burrows, RH starter: Back pitching after a three-week break, and doing what he did before: In eight games (seven starts), the Tigers' 2015 first-round pick has a 2.05 ERA, a .182 opposing batting average, and a 1.14 WHIP. Burrows, 18, is 6-2, 200, and has these digits for 22 innings: 14 hits, 24 strikeouts, 11 walks.

Eudis Idrogo, LH starter: 4-1, with a 1.78 ERA, in six starts. Idrogo, who turned 20 in June, is 6-1, 198. His secondary stats for 35⅓ innings: 25 hits, 37 strikeouts, seven walks.