#25 - Troy Pickford

RHP Troy Pickford may not be as highly touted as some of his teammates from this past season at West Michigan like Joel Zumaya, but Pickford none-the-less has the potential to make an impact at the big league level.

Troy Pickford finished his first full season in the Tigers system, after being drafted by the Tigers in the 8th round of the 2002 Draft out of Oral Roberts University. Pickford spent the year at low-A West Michigan, where he had a solid season, even though injuries didn't allow him to complete the entire year.

Pickford was a solid starter for the Whitecaps, holding a sub-3 ERA (2.66) for the season. Pickford also showed solid stats, posting 6.5 K/IP as well as a Walk-to-Strikeout ratio of 2.73. The only real concern from Pickford's stat line is his lack of Innings Pitched, which appeared to be a trend for the entire Whitecap team as he was still 4th on the team in Innings Pitched.

Pickford, while a starter now, doesn't project to be one at the major league level. His statistics were impressive this past season, but one must take into account the fact that he was a 23/24 year old pitching in low-A ball.

Pickford uses three pitches, but his best attribute is his size. At 6' 8" and 220 lbs., Pickford has a powerful fastball that he uses as his go-to pitch. Pickford's off-speed pitches aren't quite as developed, but if he ever wants to see Comerica Park, he'll need at least one of them to become a solid major-league pitch.

Pickford is already 24, so if he progresses one level at a time, the Tigers are potentially looking at a 27-year old rookie. However, age doesn't matter, if Pickford can continue to put up good numbers as he moves through the system, he'll have a chance.

If he can become a middle-reliever at the major league level, the Tigers should be very happy with the pick. However, don't be surprised if Pickford never dons the ol' English ‘D'.

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