TigsTown.com - Bryan Green

Detroit Tigers Ink Jack O’Loughlin and Ulrich Bojarski From Down Under

At the outset of the 2016-2017 international signing period, the Tigers have signed two teenagers from Australia, building on a recent history of signing players such as Aaron Sayers, Warwick Saupold, and Zach Shepherd. So far the Tigers have signed left-handed pitcher Jack O’Loughlin and outfield Ulrich Bojarski, though some on the ground in Australia believe they could have another signing from the continent before the signing period closes.

Jack O’Loughlin has a large frame with significant projection stemming from broad shoulders and long arms and legs. He is still young and owns a bit of a doughy physicue, but scouts familiar with O’Loughlin are confident the body will tighten as he matures, giving him the potential to evolve into a workhorse type lefty.

 

Generating mid-80s velocity at this time and touching the upper-80s on occasion, O’Loughlin fires from a three quarters arm slot with an easy arm action that lets the ball come out of his hand cleanly. He shows feel for both his breaking ball and changeup, though both need focused work to develop and be effective against professional hitters.

 

Thanks to his large frame and projectable feel for three pitches, there are scouts that believe O’Loughlin could develop into a serious prospect on the mound. Similar to their handling of Aaron Sayers and Zach Shepherd before him, the Tigers are likely to allow O’Loughlin to complete high school before bringing him stateside to play in the Gulf Coast League.

 

Ulrich Bojarski cuts an imposing figure on the field, featuring a chiseled body with excellent muscular definition throughout. A premium athlete, Bojarski is still somewhat raw on the field but he will show five tools with potential.

 

Having spent time playing catcher, third base, and outfield, Bojarski was signed as an outfielder, a position where his plus speed, excellent athleticism, and easy plus throwing arm can all play well. Bojarski moves well in the outfield with improving instincts, and his arm strength fits well in either center field or right field.

 

At the plate, Bojarski shows a succinct swing with plus bat speed during batting practice, though his swing can get a little long in game action. When he remains compact, Bojarski has the ability to drive the ball to all fields with easy pop. Scouts that are the most optimistic about Bojarski’s offensive tools see a player with plus bat speed and enough pitch recognition to develop into a quality hitter with average power and speed on the bases.

 

Bojarski is an “older” prospect that has already completed secondary school and should come stateside for the 2017 season. Given the level of competition he has faced and his raw in-game feel, Bojarski will likely move slowly through the lower levels as he adjusts to more advanced professional pitching.

 

Both signings represent a continued presence for the Tigers in Australia, an area where many teams are beginning to look more closely for talented teenagers. Though the club has signed only a few players from the country, they have found success developing the likes of Shepherd and Saupold, and with the raw talent possessed by O’Loughlin and Bojarski, their success rate could continue to climb.


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