When it comes to the game of baseball on any level, great pitching generally gets the best of great hitting and that is exactly what the Detroit Tigers have been trying to establish during their current rebuild.
But when I look at the Tigers' current pitching situation, both at the Major League level and down on the farm, I really don't see a player who will end up being “great.”
Now, don't get me wrong, I still believe that Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and even Jackson Jobe (currently in Single A) will be solid pitchers, but I just don't see any of those three challenging for Cy Young awards at any point of their career.
Note: It's very early to truly judge Jackson Jobe, but this is my early opinion
Who will be the Detroit Tigers' next great pitcher?
The Detroit Tigers will have the No. 12 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and when they are on the clock, they could have an opportunity to land who I believe will eventually challenge for (if not win) multiple Cy Young awards.
That pitcher just so happens to live in the Tigers' own backyard and his name is Brock Porter.
Porter, who is a senior at Orchard Lake St. Mary's, has been absolutely filthy during his final prep season and his dominance continued on Friday night during his team's CHSL Bishop Division semifinal win over Catholic Central.
In that game, which took place at Comerica Park, Porter struck out 16 batters on his way to a perfect game.
Following the game, the first thing Porter did was sign autographs for some little kids.
“I think it’s just it’s pretty cool to just go out there and know they look up to me and I hope to just do my best and be the person that they look up to,” said Porter, a Clemson commit who was ranked as a top-10 pick in the latest mock draft on MLB.com. “It’s pretty amazing. You know, I’d never really thought I’d ever do this. But it’s my life. And I think it’s pretty cool that you know, kids want to share the game.”
Here is what St. Mary's coach Matt Petry had to say about Porter.
“He’s got a fastball that can reach triple digits,” said St. Mary’s coach Matt Petry. “He sits comfortably in the 94-97 miles per hour range. His changeup had been his best off-speed pitch and it’s at true plus-pitch for him. But this year he’s added a wipeout slider that he throws in the mid-80s that adds another piece to his arsenal that makes him difficult to hit.”
Will the Detroit Tigers get a shot at Brock Porter?
After reading about and watching plenty of film on Porter, there is little question in my mind that he has the making of a great Major League pitcher. The question is, will be available when the Detroit Tigers are on the clock?
According to Perfectgame.com, Porter, who is currently committed to Clemson, has a rating of 10 (Potential very high draft pick and/or Elite level college prospect).
From Perfect Game:
Brock Porter is a 2022 RHP/UT with a 6-4 200 lb. frame from Milford, MI who attends Orchard Lake St. Marys Prep. Long and strong athletic build with plenty of room to get stronger. Slow to fast mechanics on the mound with some energy at release, holds his delivery well and repeats, very fast arm that really accelerates to release, 3/4's arm slot with plus extension out front. Fastball topped out at 97 mph, sat 96/2500 rpm for much of the outing, threw his fastball for strikes working mostly arm side. Elite level change up as his second pitch, outstanding arm speed with -20 mph velocity difference, big running life, throws change up to both right handed and left handed hitters and will double up on it. Also throws a solid curveball. Highest level pitching prospect with three potential plus pitches and nice athleticism. Excellent student, verbal commitment to Clemson. Named to play in the Perfect Game All American Classic.
Porter's family has said that they have a contract number in mind and that a Major League team that drafts him will have to meet that number or he will head to Clemson and play college baseball.
From Detroit News:
“If I could pick and choose a college, I wanted to go down and play in the warmth, the SEC and ACC schools,” Porter said. “I loved Clemson’s facilities.
“It’s a win-win. I’m really excited for the opportunity there.”
“He’s moving in to Clemson June 24,” said his father, Todd. “He’ll start summer school and get going. We’ll just see what happens from there.”
Depending on where you look, Porter could fall to the Tigers at No. 12. In fact, Keith Law of The Athletic currently has him as his No. 18 ranked prospect. (In comparison, Perfect Game has Porter as their No. 7 ranked prospect).
Porter is one of three players at his Michigan prep school who could be drafted in the top three rounds, depending on signability, and the Clemson commit is the best healthy high school pitcher in this class. He’s been up to 97 mph this spring with potential above-average or better pitches in his curveball and changeup, with a great 6-foot-4 frame that has room for him to add muscle for durability.
The Tigers certainly need bats in their lineup but if Porter falls to No. 12, GM Al Avila should pounce because if he doesn't, he will regret it.