Tigers minor-league report: Dawel Lugo helps case with hot August

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Dawel Lugo


Who’s hot …

Dawel Lugo, 2B: There are two challenges – each a biggie – as Lugo chases his shot at playing in the big leagues. He has a .285 on-base percentage in 2018, with nine walks in 118 games. And his slugging percentage is .352, as a mere three home runs would attest. Still, he is batting .312 in August and .270 overall. He is 23, hits right-handed, and was one of the cogs in last summer’s trade that sent J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks.

Matt Hall, LH starter: Excellent run since he was moved to Toledo, where in eight starts he has a 2.28 ERA, with 49 strikeouts and 35 hits in 47.1 innings, alongside 17 walks. He’s a curveball master and has been consistently good since the Tigers signed him in 2015 (sixth round) from Missouri State. Classify his Comerica Park potential heading into 2019 as “interesting.”

Zac Houston, RH reliever: It’s been the usual from Houston, who could get a look in September as the Tigers fatten their active roster: 0.75 ERA in his last 10 games, 1.31 ERA in 30 games for the Mud Hens, during which he has struck out 52 batters in 34.1 innings. Houston was scooped up with an 11th-round pick during the 2016 draft. He was then pitching at Mississippi State.

Johnny Barbato, RH reliever: He had a couple of earlier cameos with the Tigers and didn’t fare well, but Barbato, who is only 26, has sparkled with Toledo: 1.86 ERA in his last 10 games and 1.57 in 31 turns with the Mud Hens in 2018. Barbato joined the Tigers by way of January’s waiver wire. He had previously been with the Pirates after having been initially with the Padres (sixth-round pick).

And who’s not …

The Mud Hens this week deserve no unwelcome citations.

More: Matt Manning's rocket ride has moved him to Erie, and to rare tributes


Who’s hot …

Danny Woodrow, OF: Too often missed, or overlooked, or underappreciated, or however it might be termed – Woodrow is a speedster who can swing that left-handed bat in fruitful ways. He’s batting .349 in his last 10 games, and .317 in 84 games since he was boosted to Double A. Woodrow is 23, is 5-10, 160, and was a 12th-round pick in 2016 out of Creighton. Follow this man closely in 2019.

Isaac Paredes, SS/3B/2B: Bombs away. Paredes, who it must be repeated is 19 years old, is batting .306 in the 30 games he has played at Erie. The Tigers aren’t concerned about his eventual position – he’ll play somewhere. It’s that bat they’re excited about. Paredes was, of course, shipped to the Tigers last summer as part of Detroit’s big trade with the Cubs.

Willi Castro, SS/2B/3B: About the same story with Castro, who has played in only 22 games for the SeaWolves but who is batting .344. Castro is 21, is a switch-hitter, and came to the Tigers last month in a trade that sent Leonys Martin to the Indians.

And who’s not …

Sergio Alcantara, SS: Alcantara is showing classic symptoms of late-August fatigue: .158 in his last 10 games. The Tigers love Alcantara’s defense and arm, but he’ll need to get stronger as that 5-foot-9, 168-pound frame implies. Alcantara is 22 and switch-hits.


Who’s hot …

Brock Deatherage, OF: One of the instant hits from June’s draft, Deatherage hit .313 at West Michigan and has bumped it to .333 since he joined the Flying Tigers. He was a 10th-round pick from North Carolina State and bats left-handed.

Jose Azocar, OF: He’s a fine defender and this summer has finally begun to hit: .321 in the season’s second half. The Tigers aren’t sure he can fix his appetite for bad pitches, but, at 22, they have hope. Azocar bats right-handed, is 5-11, 185.

Anthony Castro, RH starter: Has thrown very well at Lakeland (2.87 ERA), particularly in his last four starts: 22.1 innings, three runs, 16 hits, 15 strikeouts, seven walks. He’s 6-2, 180, and was signed out of Caracas, Venezuela.

Eduardo Jimenez, RH reliever: Very good in his last 10 stints: 1.32 ERA, 15 strikeouts and six walks in 13.2 innings.  Jimenez is 6-2, 225, and came to the Tigers from Venezuela.

And who’s not …

A.J. Simcox, SS: Didn’t hit at Erie, and hasn’t been prospering at Lakeland (.189 in his last 10 games).

Wenceel Perez


Who’s hot …

Wenceel Perez, SS: He’s moving closer to Top 10 Tigers prospect territory at the ripe age of 18. Perez is batting .333 in eight games since he was given orders to report to West Michigan. The Tigers paid Perez handsomely to sign two years ago, all because of a switch-hitter’s promise. He’s 5-11, 170. And the Tigers for obvious reasons are upbeat about Perez.

And who’s not …

Reynaldo Rivera, 1B: The hits don’t keep coming: .088 in his last 10 games.


Who’s hot …

Gio Arriera, RH starter: He was a fourth-round pick in 2017 (Palm Beach State Junior College) and has had a nice six-game swing for Connecticut: 2.43 ERA, with 24 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Arriera is only 20, and is 6-2, 220.

Yaya Chentouf, RH reliever: The man with the Tigers farm’s best name has been slinging it: 1.88 ERA, with 11 strikeouts and two walks in 14.1 innings. He’s 21 and was a 36th-round pick in June out of the University of Pittsburgh.

And who’s not …

Nick Ames, 1B: Batting an icy .100 in his last 10 games after the Tigers snagged him in the 15th round (Nevada-Las Vegas) in June.


Who’s hot …

Kilber Santana, RH reliever: He’s 19, and these are the numbers a team likes to see from a pitcher’s last eight games: 2.30 ERA, with 22 strikeouts and five walks in 19.2 innings. Santana is 6-1, 160, and was signed out of Venezuela.

And who’s not …

Keyder Aristigueta, 1B: Another first-sacker who has not had the most pleasant of summers. He’s swinging at an .097 clip the past 10 games, which is not what a 22-year-old from Venezuela, had in mind as the GCL calendar winds down.


Who’s hot …

Chavez Fernander, RH reliever: This native of Freeport, Bahamas, has a 1.69 ERA in 10 games and five starts after the Tigers signed him out of Polk State Junior College (35th round). Excellent strikeouts-to-walks ratio (24-to-4) in 26.2 innings. Fernander is 6-3, 205.

And who’s not …

Justin Childers, 1B: He was a 33rd-rounder in June (Ohio Dominican) and has not found GCL West pitchers to be at all fun: .162 in 26 games.