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Mize was the clear No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft thanks to his combination of now stuff (his fastball is plus and his plus-plus splitter was the best pitch in the draft class) and advanced control and command. He will pitch very little this year because he threw 115 innings for Auburn, but he is advanced enough to move quickly next season.
Perez has missed most of the season with a lat muscle injury, but he’s returned to action in the past few weeks and is showing the same excellent stuff (92-96 mph fastball, a plus curveball, an average changeup and a fringe-average slider) he did pre-injury. His command and control has not been as sharp in his first starts back, but he is still the advanced pitcher he was when the Tigers traded for him last year.
Manning has all the makings of a potential front of the rotation starter, even if he has the inconsistencies that aren’t uncommon for young, tall pitchers of his ilk. Manning’s 91-95 mph fastball generates an above-average rate of swings and misses because he has such excellent extension and the fastball has good life up in the zone. His curveball comes and goes, but when it’s on, it’s plus as well. When he has those two pitches, he dominates. Other times, he struggles to locate his fastball and his below-average changeup gets hit.
Faedo has made it to Double-A in his first pro season. That’s the good news. The more concerning news is that Faedo’s fastball has lost two ticks from his days as a Florida Gator. Faedo generally has sat 89-92 mph this year and has bumped 93 sporadically. He is using his changeup more and it shows more promise than it did when he was in college. His lost arm speed has also cost some of the bite of his still above-average slider. The Tigers have to hope Faedo’s arm speed will come back, but even Faedo in his current form could pitch in the back of a big league rotation.
Stewart is going to have to hit, as he’s a well-below-average defender in left field (he has shown some improvement to get to that point). The good news for him is he has always hit. Stewart has a chance to be an average hitter with plus power and plenty of walks. His power has tailed off a little this year, but only modestly and unlike many power hitters he has a knack for hitting for power while striking out in less than 20 percent of his plate appearances.
Burrows has one of the better fastballs in the minors as much for its late rise and spin rate as its 92-94 mph velocity–he’s touched 97 in shorter stints. But four years after he was drafted, his secondary offerings have yet to take a big step forward, as he continues to lack one above-average offspeed pitch. Burrows most likely will end up as an excellent power reliever, but he also could end up as a useful No. 4 starter.
Until this year, Cameron had been on a slow path. He needed two seasons to master low Class A. After a solid but unspectacular first half with high Class A Lakeland, he’s blossomed in his first month at Double-A Erie, hitting with more power than he’s shown in the past. That power boost may be a short-term blip, but Cameron has a well-rounded tool-set. As an athletic center fielder with a lot of average to above-average tools, he’s got a solid chance of becoming a useful regular in center field.
There weren’t many 19-year-olds in the Florida State League. There was only one who reached double digits in home runs–Paredes, and it earned him a bump to Double-A. Paredes’ bat is ahead of his glove, which is why he’ll likely end up at second or third base eventually. He’s playing more and more second base this season and has the bat to profile there.
Perez ranked No. 23 on the Baseball America 2016 Top 30 international prospects largely because he was athletic with a knack for hitting. He’s lived up to that scouting report and more as he played his way out of the Gulf Coast League in less than a month by blitzing the league to the tune of a .383/.462/.543 slash line. Perez is a potentially plus hitter with the speed and athleticism to stay at shortstop.
Funkhouser made it to Triple-A with his standard combination of excellent stuff and at times shaky control. That’s been the scouting report on Funkhouser going back to his days at Louisville, and it should be enough to get him to the big leagues. Funkhouser’s 92-95 mph fastball can miss bats and his above-average slider gives him a second weapon.
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