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Minor League Update: Tigers finish up in Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league for players in the minor league system of MLB teams that takes place during the autumn months after the Major League Baseball season concludes. It’s a league of six teams, each having rosters consisting of players from five different clubs. In theory, it’s extended minor league play.

The Detroit Tigers are affiliated with the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Scorpions are also home to players from the Red Sox, Indians, Twins, and Giants. The roughly month-long season concludes tomorrow when the Scorpions play in the championship game.

There were seven players in the Tigers organization that were a part of the Scorpions, many of them were making big impacts on the team:

Dominic Ficociello – 1B
Dominic Ficociello spent the 2015 season between the Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A) and the Erie SeaWolves (AA). The 23-year old minor league Gold Glove Award winner is hitting .247 (18-73) and has driven in 12 runs in 19 games for Scottsdale this fall.

Michael Gerber – OF
Michael Gerber was the best hitter on a West Michigan Whitecaps team that won the Midwest League (Low-A) Championship in 2015, hitting .292/.355/.468 in 135 games for the ‘Caps this season. He carried that over to the AFL, hitting .280 (21-75) with a home run and 14 RBI’s.

JaCoby Jones – SS
JaCoby Jones was the return package that Tigers got for sending former closer Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jones hit .257/.322/.415 with three different teams in 2015, finishing up in Erie. He displayed a ton of pop during the season, smacking 16 long balls and driving in 80 runs.

Jones was suspended for 50 games back on November 5th for violating the terms of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program. It was reportedly his second violation of the terms. He only played in 12 games, hitting .280 (12-50) with two homers and four runs batted in.

Jeff Ferrell – RP
Jeff Ferrell is the only one of the seven players that made an appearance for the Tigers in 2015 (9 games, 11.1 IP, 6.35 ERA). He pitched in 28 games for Erie and Toledo (AAA), compiling a 2.58 ERA. In the AFL, he appeared in four games for the Scorpions, giving up just two hits and three walks, striking out eight batters in 5.0 innings of work.

Austin Kubitza – SP
Austin Kubitza made 27 starts for the SeaWolves this season down on the farm. He probably would’ve liked a better season, as he finished 9-13 with a 5.79 ERA and opponents hit .336 off him. Kubitza was one of Scottsdale’s starters this fall season and has appeared to make some adjustments. He’s made six starts, going 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA and has dropped that opponent batting average considerably to a more acceptable .276.

Adam Ravenelle – RP
Adam Ravenelle played in 21 minor league games this season, 19 of them at West Michigan. The 23-year old posted a solid 3.52 ERA in those 21 games and opponents only hit .218 off him. However, Ravenelle is putting up fall league numbers he’d like to forget. In 10 games, he’s pitched 10.1 innings and has given up ten runs, nine of them earned, and has allowed three homers.

Montreal Robertson – RP
Montreal Robertson appeared in 34 games between Lakeland and Erie this season, putting together a 3.31 ERA. Like Kubitza, and unlike Ravenelle, Robertson has improved his numbers in the desert. He has pitched 14.2 innings in eight games, yielding just three earned runs.

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