Tigers’ Ficociello Looks For A Home

DETROITThe Tigers liked Dominic Ficociello so much that they drafted him twice. But they still are not 100 percent sure which position he will play down the road.

Ficociello will play primarily at first base at Double-A Erie in 2016, but he could find himself at any of the three other corner positions, too.

“He’s very athletic,” director of player development Dave Owen said. “There may be times where he gets a little time at third base or maybe the outfield. That’s yet to be determined. He’s athletic and can run. He’ll surprise you. He runs better than he looks. He’s a good player.”

The Tigers selected but didn’t sign Ficociello out of high school in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft, then picked him in the 12th round in 2013 out of Arkansas.

In 2015, Ficociello spent about two-thirds of the season at high Class A Lakeland and the rest of the time at Erie. The switch-hitter batted .293/.349/.415 with 25 doubles, eight home runs and 60 RBIs in 128 games. He struck out 103 times and drew 37 walks.

The 24-year-old Ficociello is 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. Owen said he has rounded into physical form very nicely.

“These kids, at some point their bodies kind of start taking on a different form,” Owen said. “He’s added some very nice weight. He’s got a great frame. He’s a big, slender kid. He’s got pop from both sides of the plate. He’s a guy we really expect to have a good year.”

The Tigers do not have a ton of depth at first base in their system. Clearly, all-star Miguel Cabrera is entrenched as the big league regular, but the Tigers expect to use journeyman Casey McGehee along with Chad Huffman, who played the past two seasons in Japan, at first base at Triple-A Toledo.

Ficociello could give the Tigers some much-needed depth at the position. Or he could end up at third base or possibly in a corner outfield spot.

“This is going to be a good year for Dominic,” Owen said. “We’ll kind of see where his swing takes him.”


• Outfielder Ben Verlander hit a home run off older brother Justin during a minor league game late in spring training.

• Outfielder Steven Moya got off to a hot start at Toledo with two home runs and five RBIs on Opening Day.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone