Oh, Mize! Detroit Tigers' top prospect throws no-hitter in his Double-A debut
Those baseball fans in Erie, Pa., sure are gonna be treated to some fantastic pitching this season.
Last week, the SeaWolves — the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, in their 25th year — celebrated the third no-hitter in club history, with one of the organization's top prospects, Alex Faedo, throwing the front seven innings.
And on Monday, they celebrated the fourth.
Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall draft pick last June and the consensus top prospect in the Tigers' system, made his Erie debut in grand style, tossing the complete-game no-hitter. He allowed just two base runners, a hit batter in the first, and a walk in the seventh.
And Mize, the right-hander out of Auburn, did all that in front of the watchful eyes of Tigers GM Al Avila and fellow front-office members Jim Leyland and David Chadd.
Erie won at Altoona, 1-0.
"It was definitely one of those days, I don't know, I just felt like on autopilot," Mize told reporters afterward, with postgame video shared on the SeaWolves' Twitter account. "Just a good day.
"I threw one last year in college, I wish I would've enjoyed it more. I'm definitely gonna let this one soak in."
Mize, 21, was promoted to Erie after absolutely dominating High-A Lakeland, with a 0.31 WHIP, 0.35 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26 innings. He allowed seven hits, one walk and one earned run.
The Tigers announced last week he was getting the ticket north, putting the team's last three first-round picks on the same staff: Mize, Faedo and Matt Manning, who gets the ball Tuesday night. (No pressure, eh?)
"It was something special," catcher Jake Rogers told reporters after Monday's game. "It was really fun to catch.
"He came out on all cylinders, man. Ever since that first inning, he came out and he was getting guys out, making guys kind of look silly."
Mize needed just 98 pitches to get through his Erie debut, making it a "Maddux" — the feat named after Greg Maddux, who was a master at tossing complete games and needing fewer than 100 pitches to do it.
Of the 98 pitches, 70 were strikes.
Avila told reporters that Mize could've stretched it to 110 pitches, if needed.
"Whatever Al said, he's right," manager Mike Rabelo said with a smile. "He was absolutely electric tonight, and good for Casey.
"That was fun to be a part of."
The contact was mostly soft all night, with only a couple exceptions. That said, Mize did get some help from several defenders, including center fielder Derek Hill, a human highlight reel out, as well as right fielder Jose Ozocar and second baseman Sergio Alcantara. Mize finished with seven strikeouts.
At one point, Mize had retired 19 batters in a row.
Mize will make his Erie home debut Saturday at UPMC Park.
Of note, by the way, taking the hard-luck loss for Altoona, the Pirates' Double-A affiliate, was lefty Cam Vieaux, a Walled Lake Western and Michigan State alum who was a sixth-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2017. Vieaux went seven solid innings, allowing a run on six hits and two walks, while striking out one.