AAA Toledo - LHP Ian Krol
10 IP | 0.00 ERA | 0.80 WHIP | 0-0 | 13 K | 4 BB | 0 SV
Following an April demotion from the Detroit bullpen, Krol has been attempting to work his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff and earn another shot to contribute to the Tigers ‘pen. Though he was solid for Toledo in April, Krol dominated out of the Hens bullpen last month, posting a 0.00 ERA in nine outings, spanning ten innings. Across those ten innings, Krol allowed just four hits and four walks while fanning 13 International League hitters. With that type of dominance, and the Tigers bullpen always in flux, it is only a matter of time before Krol gets another shot in the big leagues.
Runner-Up: RHP Thad Weber
AA Erie - LHP Josh Turley
34 2/3 IP | 3.12 ERA | 1.41 WHIP | 2-2 | 26 K | 11 BB |
Working in the Erie rotation for a second season in a row, Turley continues to confound Eastern League hitters with his ability to mix and match a below-average arsenal, including a solid knuckleball. In May, Turley made six starts and went 2-2 in those outings with a 3.12 ERA. Tossing an impressive 34-2/3 innings across those starts, Turley yielded 38 hits and walked 11 batters, two numbers that fly in the face of his ERA and perceived success, but he did whiff 26 batters and was able to limit the damage despite having a parade of runners on base. If Turley is to find his way to the Major League roster and find success, it will most likely happen in relief and with a heavy reliance on his knuckleball.
Runner-Up: LHP Joe Mantiply
A+ Lakeland - LHP Locke St. John
31 1/3 IP | 1.72 ERA | 1.40 WHIP | 2-0 | 19 K | 13 BB |
A 32nd round pick of the Tigers out of South Alabama, St. John has moved quickly, leaping all the way to High-A in his first full season. That massive jump showed as he posted a 6.06 ERA in April, but he settled in and notched a dominating 1.72 ERA and 2-0 record in six starts last month. In 31-1/3 innings, St. John allowed 31 hits and struck out 19 batters, keeping the Flying Tigers in each of his starts. St. John relies heavily on some deception in his delivery, allowing his bel0ow-average fastball to play up slightly, and he mixes his changeup and breaking ball well.
Runner-Up: LHP Matt Crouse
A West Michigan - RHP Joe Jimenez
10 IP | 2.70 ERA | 0.90 WHIP | 3-1 | 20 K | 3 BB | 4 SV
Arguably the Tigers top relief prospect, Jimenez continues to improve his prospect stock with dominating performances in the Midwest League. Pitching in eight relief appearances last month, Jimenez posted two saves and a 3-1 record while logging ten innings. Jimenez finished the month with a 2.70 ERA and only three walks, while whiffing a ridiculous 20 batters; largely on the back of his dominating fastball that can reach 97-98 mph. Jimenez has the raw stuff, including a slower but solid slider, to dominate the late innings, and as he continues to mature on the hill, he could move to Lakeland later this year and then race through the upper levels in 2016 on his way to Detroit.
Runner-Up: RHP Gabe Hemmer