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Minor-league report: OFs Gerber, Stewart adjust at Erie

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Triple A Toledo

Who’s hot …

John Hicks, C: Expect him to be among those called up when rosters expand Thursday. Tigers have a 26-year-old catcher at Toledo who could find his way into a back-up job in 2017. Very good receiver, batting .364 in his last 10 games, and .300, with an .842 OPS, in 68 games since the Tigers got him on waivers via the Twins. Hicks was a fourth-round pick by the Mariners in 2011 (University of Virginia). He is 6-foot-2, 230, and bats right-handed.

Buck Farmer, RH starter: Easy decision here, as well. Farmer has had his spells in Detroit, not many of them great. But he has pitched well this month: 2.34 ERA in six starts and 342/3 innings. He has 33 strikeouts during that stretch, and has walked 11. Farmer is only 25 and was a fifth-round pick in 2013 (Georgia Tech).

JaCoby Jones, CF: .317 in his last 10 games, as he enjoys more placid days following a tough transition at Triple A. Jones has no 40-man roster spot, so it’s unlikely he’ll be summoned to Detroit. The man Detroit inherited in its trade of Joakim Soria to the Pirates figures to be in the Tigers’ 2017 mix.

Joe Jimenez, RH reliever: Make way for Jimenez in 2017. He’ll be in Detroit, excluding injury. His moves from Single A to Double A to Triple A in 2016 have worked out more than fine: one earned run in his last five outings, 3.09 ERA since migrating to Toledo, and seven strikeouts in his last five appearances (41/3 innings). Jimenez is 21 and won’t turn 22 until January.

Double A Erie

Who’s hot …

Grayson Greiner, C: Good development story as Greiner, a third-round pick in 2014 (South Carolina), has put together a seriously good second half: .330 batting average (.450 in his last 10 games) and .888 OPS. He is 23, bats right-handed, and is a towering 6-6, 220.

Two relievers earn early promotions to West Michigan

Mike Gerber, OF: .300 in his last 10 games and will be headed to big-league camp in March with a chance to play in 2017. Gerber remains one of the best and deepest Tigers draft grabs from the past decade. He is 6-foot, 190, bats left-handed, turned 24 in July, and was a 15th-round pick in 2014 (Creighton). He has an .818 OPS and .276 batting average since being shipped to Erie in July (33 games).

Christin Stewart, LF: He’s adjusting to Double A a month after his promotion from Lakeland. Not showing much power, surprisingly, but getting better swings (.294 in his last 10 games).

Joe Mantiply, LH reliever: He didn’t fare particularly well during a seven-game stint at Toledo earlier this year, but the Tigers will take him seriously next season if this continues: 0.00 ERA in his last 10 games, 101/3 innings, four hits, 18 strikeouts, and a lone walk. Mantiply, 25, has pitched well since the Tigers drafted him in 2013 (27th round, Virginia Tech).

Single A Lakeland

Who’s hot …

Ben Verlander, OF: .308 in his last 10 games, with a home run, as Justin’s brother wraps up 2016 three years after the Tigers got him out of Old Dominion (14th round). He is 6-4, 200, and bats right-handed.

And who’s not …

Joey Pankake, 2B: Hasn’t been much fun, 2016, for this seventh-round pick (South Carolina) in 2014. Pankake is at .171 for his last 10 games and is hitting only .215 for the year. Disappointing second full season of professional baseball.

Single A West Michigan

Who’s hot …

Beau Burrows, RH starter: Had a finger blister at midseason that stalled his 2016 ascent, but only slightly. In his last four starts (181/3 innings): four runs, nine hits, 14 strikeouts, seven walks. He’ll get a full year at Single A Lakeland in 2017 at which time a 19-year-old first-round draft pick (2015) should show significant growth.

Single A Connecticut

Who’s hot …

Daniel Pinero, SS: He was the Tigers’ earliest position draft pick in June (ninth round, Virginia) and has had a fine August for manager Mike Rabelo’s Tigers, including his most recent 10 games in which he’s batted .344. Pinero is big for a shortstop, 6-5, 210, and bats right-handed. He turned 22 in May.

Daniel Woodrow, OF: He descends, as does his old friend Gerber, from Creighton. Woodrow was a 12th-round swipe in June and is batting .375 in his last 10 games. He is 21, bats left-handed, and is a tidy 5-10, 155.

Bryan Garcia, RH reliever: Only one flawed outing for Garcia, who allowed a pair of runs in his last appearance, the first two runs he’s yielded in 13 games for the Tigers. His 15-inning totals: 11 hits, 18 strikeouts, three walks. He was a record-setting closer at the University of Miami ahead of the Tigers nabbing him in the sixth round of June’s draft.

Joe Navilhon, RH reliever: It’s always essential to keep in mind age at the New York-Penn League, which is why Navilhon, 23, has a bit of a qualifier to his legitimately sterling work: one earned run in 261/3 innings. That equates to an 0.34 ERA, alongside a 1.10 WHIP, with 29 strikeouts, seven walks, and 22 hits. The Tigers plucked him in the 21st round in June (Southern Cal). He is 6-foot, 200.

And who’s not …

Will Savage, 2B: Nothing devastating here for a 16th-round June pick (Columbia), but neither is .176 in his last 10 games the brand of production Savage has generally known. He is 21, a right-handed batter, and is 6-foot, 185.

Gulf Coast League East

Who’s hot …

Moises Nunez, 1B: He’s only 19, is 6-2, 190, bats right-handed, and is swatting at a .306 clip the past 10 games, with two home runs. The Tigers signed him out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

And who’s not …

Keyder Aristigueta, 2B: He will know better days — his melodic name mandates this young man progress — but it has been a chore of late: .125 in his last 10 games. Aristigueta is 20, bats right-handed, is 5-11, 165, and was signed out of Caracas, Venezuela.

Gulf Coast League West

Who’s hot …

Felix Viloria, RH reliever: One to follow, for sure. Viloria is 19 and has been more than good in 14 GCL games: 1.96 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 181/3 innings, 13 hits, 20 strikeouts, eight walks. He was signed out of Piedra Blanca, Dominican Republic.

Matt Manning, RH starter: Has done just fine since the Tigers made him their first-round choice in June (ninth overall). He has pitched in 10 games, has 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 291/3 innings, and is 18 years old. Manning is 6-6, 190.

Lynn.henning@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/Lynn_Henning