Tigers minor-league report: Holaday showing late pop

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Triple-A Toledo

Who’s hot …

Jeff Ferrell, RH reliever: Biggest question in a season when the Tigers have needed bullpen help: Where has Ferrell been? He’s on the 40-man roster and has done nothing but pitch well. Very well. His portfolio in a whopping 43 games: 1.82 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, .196 opposing batting average. He’s 26 years old and has past job experience in Detroit. Simple reality is Tigers have often needed multi-inning options from Toledo and Ferrell’s a pure single-inning guy. But he’ll almost certainly be up in September — if not sooner. He deserves Detroit.

Bryan Holaday, C: Big mid-summer jump for Holaday after a forgettable spring. He’s batting .367 in his last 10 games and is hotter than John Hicks. On the year, Holaday’s batting .256, with seven home runs and a .748 OPS. He, of course, has had earlier seasons with the Tigers after they drafted him in the sixth round in 2010 (Texas Christian).

Double-A Erie

Who’s hot …

A.J. Simcox, SS: Glove is big-league, but bat, as almost always is the case, remains the question. Still middling results there, but a hot last 10 days: .387. Simcox was a 14th-round pick in 2015 (University of Tennessee).

Beau Burrows, RH starter: Been a solid Double A season for Burrows after he was promoted. In his last four starts: 2.54 ERA, with 23 strikeouts in 21-2/3 innings. Burrows was a Texas prep first-round pick in 2015. Still only 20 years old, he’s 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.

Paul Voelker, RH reliever: He returned last month from a 50-game suspension and has been back in rhythm: 0.87 ERA in his last 10 games, with 14 strikeouts in 10-1/3 innings. Voelker was a 10th-round pick in 2014 (Dallas Baptist).

More:Power-armed relievers ‘strength’ of Tigers’ minor leagues

Single-A Lakeland

Who’s hot …

Austin Sodders, LH starter: He plowed through hitters at West Michigan and since getting a ticket to Lakeland hasn’t changed routines. Sodders in six starts has an 0.93 ERA and .197 opposing batting average. He was a seventh-round pick in 2016 (Cal-Riverside).

Cam Gibson,OF: He’s batting .357 in his last 10 and is progressing amid the heat and rain and challenges at high Single A. Gibson was a fifth-round pick in 2015 after a career, in the fashion of his dad, Kirk, at Michigan State. 

Will Maddox, 1B: .372 in his last 10 games for this 18th-round pick from the University of Tennessee (2014).

... and who’s not

Joey Pankake, 2B: A bit of a downer for Pankake, this 2017 seasons that has seen him bat .057 in his last 10 games and .192 for the year. He was a seventh-rounder in 2014 when he and Grayson Greiner were Tigers draftees from the University of South Carolina.

Single-A West Michigan

Who’s hot …

Danny Pinero, SS: He’s on the gray-hair side for low Single A (23 years old), but he was only drafted a year ago, in the ninth round after his years at the University of Virginia. Pinero bats right-handed, is a big lad at 6-5, 250, and is batting .333 in his last 10 games.

Tom de Blok, RH starter: What a story this man is becoming a few months after the Tigers signed him off the Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic. He has switched from relief to rotation work and has been a dynamo, with a cumulative 0.85 ERA in 18 games (six starts), an 0.74 WHIP, and .178 opposing batting average. He’s 6-4, 195, and in May turned 21.

John Schreiber, RH reliever: He’s a Wyandotte product the Tigers got a year ago (15th round, Northwestern Ohio) and has put together knockout numbers: 18 games, 0.83 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, .145 opposing batting average, with 47 strikeouts in 32-2/3 innings, only 16 hits, and six unintentional walks. He turned 23 in March and is 6-3, 215.

... and who’s not

Zac Shepherd, 3B: A rugged year for Shepherd, who was sent to Lakeland, then returned to West Michigan after some brutal weeks there. Life hasn’t gotten appreciably better: .156 in his last 10 games. He is 21 and was signed out of Australia.

Single-A Connecticut

Who’s hot …

Jordan Pearce, 1B: The Tigers got him in the 21st round in June’s draft (University of Nevada) and he’s started neatly at Connecticut: .400, with two home runs, and a 1.092 OPS in his first nine games. He’s 6-2, 200, and bats left-handed.

Jose Vasquez, RH starter: He’s only 21 and is one of the Tigers’ Venezuela alums. And he’s having a fine time with the Tigers: seven games (six starts), 1.64 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and .198 opposing batting average.

Brandyn Sittinger, RH reliever: He’s another guy a tad old for this level (23) after the Tigers made him a 17th-round pick in June (Ashland). In 11 games since he joined Connecticut, Sittinger has a 1.06 ERA and has struck out 21 in 17-1/3 innings. 

... and who’s not

Dylan Rosa, OF: He’s a Kent State product, a June draftee (18th round), and a cold starter for Connecticut: .169 in 18 games.

Gulf Coast League (East)

Who’s hot …

Gresuan Silverio, C: He’s a switch-hitter the Tigers signed out of the Dominican Republic and is only 18, which is why that .819 OPS in his first 19 games is all the more impressive.

Carlos Guzman, RH reliever: Tigers signed him out of Venezuela and aren’t minding the early indicators: 0.82 ERA in seven games, with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings. He’s 19, is 6-1, 170.

... and who’s not

Moises Nunez, C: .111 in 20 games for this 19-year-old from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Gulf Coast League (West)

Who’s hot …

Juan Ramirez,OF:.300 in 25 games, with a .400 on-base percentage. Ramirez is 18, is 5-9, 160, and was signed out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Mitchell Stalsberg, LH starter: Granted, he’s a bit advanced for GCL (21) but this 23rd-round pick from Winona State has struck out 26 in 21⅓ innings.

... and who’s not

Darwin Alvarado, OF: He’ll pick it up, but for now, Alvarado, 18, is swinging at a .141 clip in 20 games. He’s 18 and grew up in Venezuela.

DSL Tigers

Who’s hot …

Wenceel Perez, SS: He’s one of the Tigers heavier international investments and is playing like it. Perez, who’s only 17, is a switch-hitter batting .312 in 42 games. He’s 5-11, 170 and was signed out of Azua, Dominican Republic.

Francarlos Dacosta, RH reliever: 15 strikeouts and only two walks in 10-1/3 innings for Dacosta, 17, who was signed out of Caracas, Venezuela. He’s 6-1, 170.

... and who’s not

Enrique Batista, SS: He’s 17, so no serious trembling in the Tigers’ developmental offices over Batista’s .164 ways through 24 games. Especially when he’s picked up of late.