Tigers Scouting Report #13: Kyle Lobstein

It's not a stretch to say that without Kyle Lobstein's strong final month of the season for the Tigers, the club would not have won the AL Central - he stepped up and filled a huge need as the Tigers dealt with a myriad of injuries. Despite that, and a strong spring showing, Lobstein was optioned to Toledo on Tuesday. What does the lefty need to do to get back to the show?

Kyle Lobstein


Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 8/12/1989 (2015 Opening Day Age: 25)
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, 2013; Rights Traded to Detroit for Curt Casali (C)
Ranking History: #19 (2014), #13 (2015)

Background: Originally a Rule 5 pick from the Rays prior to the 2013 season, Lobstein didn’t make the Opening Day roster that year and the Tigers traded catcher Curt Casali to retain his rights and send him to the minor leagues. Pitching between Double- and Triple-A that season, Lobstein logged 167 2/3 innings and posted a combined 3.27 ERA. Lobstein logged 146 innings at Triple-A in 2014 with a solid 4.07 ERA and also reached the big leagues where he notched another 39-1/3 innings.


2014 Stats - Pitching
West Mich 23230123.089545315315262.271.1510-6

Scouting Report

Body: Strong, physical body; looks the part of a durable rotation stalwart; good coordination and ease of movement; looks more imposing than he really is but has good frame for the job.

Delivery/Mechanics: Simple and repeatable; nothing really stands out; balanced throughout delivery; will occasionally fly open and leave pitches up on the arm side; good consistency with arm slot across arsenal.

Fastball: Consistently 88-89 mph; will reach 90-91 on occasion; can subtract with the 2-seamer and get down into the 86-87 mph range with more movement; standard velocity range lacks impressive movement; can create good leverage to the plate thanks to height and arm slot; FB needs to stay down to remain effective; can be homer prone with FB; fringe-average pitch that plays down a bit with fringe command. Grade – Present 4/Future 4+

Curveball: Varies shape and velocity of pitch; mostly mid-70s with decent rotation; lacks impressive snap; overall lack of consistency; only offering that adds vertical component in arsenal, offering different look from FB and CH; fringe pitch at present with chance for average grades with improved consistency. Grade – 4+/5

Changeup: Highest rated pitch; very good arm speed that matches FB with similar arm slot as well; loose wrist with ability to turn the pitch over; pitch offers some fade and only occasional tumble; not a bat-misser but quality pitch that keeps hitters off other pitches; above-average offering that some scouts believe could continue to progress to plus range. Grade – 5+/6

Control/Command: Consistent strike thrower; really works the zone with FB and CH; only issues are losing pitches up and to the arm side at times when he flies open; CB control lags behind but still solid; command is loose within the zone and he frequently catches plenty of white.

Other: Hard worker; intelligent; knows how to mix pitches and looks to keep hitters of balance; solid holding runners.

Final Word

Summary: Not an inspiring overall package but enough to have an MLB future; CH is only pitch that plays above-average; chance FB and CB could stay in fringe-average range, leaving overall arsenal a bit short; relies heavily on sequencing and ability to keep ball at the edges of the strike zone; limited arsenal and overall fringe profile keeps future in swingman role.

Risk: Low risk; Extensive high-level minor league experience; limited ceiling; nominal tool growth remaining.

Projection: MLB ready arm that should split time between Triple-A and Detroit in 2015; 4A-style starter with swingman or long man future at MLB level; limited chance to carve out role as fringy fifth starter type.

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