TigsTown Pitchers of the Month: April 2015

The 2013 MLB Draft class for the Tigers was loaded with college arms that projected to move up the ladder quickly. Move up they did, as the upper levels of the farm system is already getting key contributions from a few. Find out which of them took home awards for best pitcher in the month of April.

AAA Toledo - RHP Buck Farmer
21 IP | 3.00 ERA | 1.10 WHIP | 3-0 | 28 K | 10 BB |
After an incredible 2014 season that saw Farmer rocket all the way from Low-A to the big leagues where he debuted with the Tigers, Farmer entered spring training with an outside shot at a roster spot in Detroit. Despite coming up short, Farmer has gone to Toledo and carved up the International League with a .173/.276/.267 line against him. With a 3-0 record in four starts, Farmer is carrying the Toledo pitching staff and he fanned 28 batters in just 21 April innings while walking only ten batters and not yielding any home runs. The more Farmer continues to dominate Triple-A competition, the more likely it is he gets another chance in Detroit this summer.
Runner-Up: RHP Alberto Cabrera

AA Erie - RHP Austin Kubitza
15 IP | 1.20 ERA | 1.33 WHIP | 1-0 | 15 K | 9 BB |
Kubitza skipped straight from Low-A West Michigan to Double-A Erie for the 2015 season and he has barely skipped a beat in spite the significant jump in competition. In three starts last month, Kubitza posted a 1.20 ERA and allowed just 11 hits in 15 innings of work. During that same span he issued an uncharacteristic nine walks and struck out exactly a batter per inning. Eastern League batters hit just .204 against him in 66 plate appearances while he allowed just one extra-base hit. Kubitza’s fringe-average fastball limits his big league projection, but as he continues to get Double-A hitters out, the Tigers will be forced to give him another test at higher levels.
Runner-Up: LHP Josh Turley

A+ Lakeland - RHP Confesor Lara
11 1/3 IP | 1.59 ERA | 0.88 WHIP | 1-0 | 16 K | 3 BB | 1 SV
Originally signed as an outfielder with potential to have an intriguing speed-power game, Lara’s bat never came alive and his strong arm forced the Tigers to give him a try on the mound. Lara’s 2014 season was split between the Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League, and the jump to High-A Lakeland to start the 2015 season was surprising to many. Lara appeared in five games out of the Flying Tigers bullpen in April, logging 11-1/3 innings with just seven hits and three walks allowed while he fanned 16 batters. Lara’s fastball has spiked this season, sitting comfortably in the mid-90s and reaching as high as 97-98 mph, giving him a chance to work in high leverage situations as he moves up the ladder.
Runner-Up: RHP Tommy Collier

A West Michigan - RHP Johan Belisario
10 2/3 IP | 0.84 ERA | 1.03 WHIP | 1-0 | 12 K | 4 BB | 3 SV
On the heels of a dominating season in the New York-Penn League in 2014, one where Belisario finished the summer with a 0.79 ERA in 34 innings, he has come out strong in 2015 with continued dominance. Armed with command of a low-90s fastball and quality breaking ball, Belisario can induce weak contact and miss bats with his raw stuff, allowing him to post a 0.84 ERA in April. In 10-2/3 innings of relief work, Belisario gave up just seven hits and four walks while he punched out 12 hitters.
Runner-Up: RHP Gabe Hemmer

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