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Tigers minor-league report: Moya hot again

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Steven Moya

Triple A Toledo

Who’s hot …

Steven Moya, OF: Tigers needed him playing every day — and so did the Mud Hens. Moya has three home runs in seven games since rejoining Toledo and is batting .326 in his last 10 for the Mud Hens. He is 24 and headed for regular big-league work, either in Detroit or elsewhere, by 2017.

Chad Huffman, 1B: Can’t be ignored, even if he’s 31 and has a splash of big-league experience with the Yankees. In his last 10 games, Huffman has slammed three home runs, which is how it’s been going for a 6-1, 215-pound right-handed hitter. On the season, Huffman is at .315 with a 1.015 OPS. He can play third base and the outfield, as well.

And who’s not …

Dixon Machado, SS: Not terrible, but .194 in his last 10 games and only .236 in the first week of June for a 24-year-old shortstop who tends to have his hot and cold interludes. Tigers thought he would be attacking a bit more on offense in 2016. Still has time.

Tigers prospect Greiner figures it out at plate

Double A Erie

Who’s hot …

Joe Jimenez, RH reliever: Nothing has changed since he was air-lifted to Erie following an impeccable first seven weeks at Single A Lakeland. Jimenez didn’t allow a run during his Flying Tigers stint, and he hasn’t allowed a run in three games for the SeaWolves. Opposing batters have nicked him for a single hit in three innings, all as he has struck out seven batters and walked none. Probably headed for a 40-man roster spot and some meaningful work in Detroit at least by September.

Joe Mantiply, LH reliever: Looks as if he’ll be helping a big-league bullpen, in Detroit or at another outpost, as his situational arm always seems to get it done. Mantiply, 25, and a 27th-round pick by the Tigers in 2013 (Virginia Tech), hasn’t allowed a run in his last four shifts. For the season (24 games), he has a 2.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, with a .227 opposing batting average. He has struck out 23 and walked eight.

And who’s not …

Paul Voelker, RH reliever: Having some surprising bumps of late to the tune of a 9.35 ERA in his last 10 games, all due to 12 hits, six walks, and nine earned runs in 8.2 innings. The bright side to a year in which he currently carries a 6.23 ERA: 27 strikeouts. But that old word — command — has been an issue for Voelker, 23, who was a 10th-round pick (Dallas Baptist) in 2014.

Single A Lakeland

Who’s hot …

Christin Stewart, LF: Tigers are beyond pleased they got Stewart with last year’s compensation pick, courtesy of the Nationals after they signed Max Scherzer. Stewart cracked his 16th home run of the season Saturday, in his 55th game, and is batting .344 in his last 10 games. He is batting .255 for 2016 and hoisting a hefty OPS of .965, which includes a giant on-base percentage of .395.

Mike Gerber, OF: Had a cool spell, but is now sizzling (.400 in his last 10 games) as one of the Tigers’ better position prospects restores some luster. Gerber, 23, is a 6-foot, 190-pound left-handed hitter whom the Tigers snagged in the 14th round (2014, Creighton).

Kade Scivicque, C: Has a serious chance to play in the big leagues a year after the Tigers took him in the fourth round (Louisiana State). Scivicque is batting .317 in his last 10 games. On the season, he’s at .271. Power hasn’t been showing up, nor has on-base percentage (.309) but a decent start for a right-handed hitting catcher in his first full season of professional baseball in the tough Florida State League.

And who’s not …

Zach Shepherd, 3B: Not what Shepherd or the Tigers anticipated, even if he is only 20 years old. He’s stuck with a .135 batting average in his last 10 games and is at .191 on the year. Shepherd is 6-3, bats right-handed, and was signed out of Sydney, Australia.

Single A West Michigan

Who’s hot …

Jose Azocar, CF: One of the Tigers’ best young position prospects, Azocar, who only three weeks ago turned 20, is batting .333 in his last 10 games and .313 for 2016. He bats right-handed, is 5-11, 165, is a splendid defender, and was signed out of Guiria, Venezuela.

Beau Burrows, RH starter: Friday night’s start (six innings, one hit) was a fairly tidy testament to why the Tigers made Burrows their first-round pick in 2015. On the season, Burrows, 19, has a 2.01 ERA (nine games, eight starts), an 0.96 WHIP, and in 44.2 innings has allowed 34 hits, with 30 strikeouts and nine walks.

Matt Hall, LH starter: Amazing numbers, mostly reflective of his batter-mashing curveball: 0.72 ERA in nine starts, 0.95 WHIP, 50.1 innings, 34 hits, 56 strikeouts, 14 walks. Hall, 22, is 6-foot, 200 pounds, and was snatched by the Tigers in the sixth round of last year’s draft (Missouri State).

Kyle Dowdy, RH reliever: He’s advanced for low Single A, but Dowdy, 23, and a 12th-round pick in 2015 (Houston) has done what he’s obliged to do: pitch well. In 11 games, he has a 2.52 WHIP and a 1.09 WHIP, with 33 strikeouts and seven walks in 35.2 innings.

Gerson Moreno, RH reliever: 0.82 ERA in his last 10 games, and for the season is looking as if a man whose fastball pushes 100 mph is on an eventual road to Detroit. In 19 games and 19.2 innings: 17 hits, 19 strikeouts, seven walks. Moreno, 20, was signed out of Yamasa, Dominican Republic.

And who’s not …

Drew Smith, RH reliever: Tough spring for a third-round pick (Dallas Baptist) in 2015. Smith, 22, has a 7.50 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. Smith’s had time on the disabled list, which explains why he’s worked only seven innings in 2016, and figures to rebound.