Detroit Tigers: scouting hitters

Embed from Getty Images As the Detroit Tigers, are in deep prep for the 2018 MLB draft. Let’s take a look at how to identify a good hitting prospect.

There are a few key components to be aware of when watching a batter. It is more than step up to the plate and hit. Much deeper.

Hand-eye coordination, leads the discussion. The batter must be able to track the ball with his eyes and put the barrel of the bat on the ball.  “Barrel accuracy” is a term often used by scouts when scouting.

Balance, is very important. Very rarely is a MLB hitter off balance. This is taught to kids through the minor leagues.

Head position, is a must. The batter needs to be able to see and track the ball clearly. Scouts pay close attention if a batter pulls his head when swinging.

Hand speed, hitters with quick hands can whip the bat through the strike zone and make contact. Hand speed generates bat speed.

Hitting the opposite way, in today’s game MLB teams  seem to put a premium on players who can hit to the opposite field.

Big game performers, baseball is a game that hinges on every pitch and every hit. Clutch hitters are a must for teams. The bigger the game the bigger the pressure. Scouts want a player who craves this situation.

Pitch selection, is a hitter chasing bad pitches? If they are the player will be over looked.  Nothing beats a good eye at the plate. As well as a hitter who can foul pitches off to stay alive until the get a pitch to their liking.

I hope this helps. That you can take a peek into the world of scouting.

Detroit Tigers: why wins/losses don’t matter for pitching prospects

Embed from Getty Images To most fans players, pitchers to be exact are judged on wins and losses. However, when gauging a pitching prospect that all needs to be thrown out the door. Here’s why.

This is what Detroit Tigers and other teams need from pitching prospects.

When grading a pitcher there are certain things to watch for. 90 mph is the cutoff. If a pitcher can hit that consistently he grades high. In today’s MLB  pitchers must bring the heat.

Command is the next most important item. Can the prospect hit his spots. If he does then he will shoot through a minor league system. If not he must develop command.

Mechanics arm position/slot must be good to avoid any injury. Lower body control and mechanics go a long way in letting a team know how good a picher will be.

Competitiveness is a must. No matter if the pitcher is on or struggling during a start. How they focus is key. It is best to draft a pitcher who attacks the strike zone.

Coach ability will top flight prospects take in what coaches are telling him? It may seem silly but many prospects have been tossed away for being hard headed.

Wins and losses are no way to tell if a pitcher is going to be elite or not.

Detroit Red Wings: what to do with Andreas Athanasiou

Embed from Getty Images He is blessed with world class speed. He can score goals. He is not very good defensively. He has big lapses in his game. The Detroit Red Wings, must decide what to do with the gifted yet flawed winger.

When is it too early to cut ties with a player? Andreas Athanasiou is 23 years old. In nearly three full years in Detroit, Athanasiou has 43 goals. Which is not too shabby.

However, Red Wings coaches and front office believe Andreas should be producing more. There has been a stall in his development. One minute he looks like a hall of fame to be player. Then he disappears for long gaps. Sometimes games pass and he was nowhere to be seen trying to help the team win.

In short Andreas Athanasiou, stops competing. He is not good on defense and his board work is well along the same lines as his defense. So how long should a rebuilding Red Wings, team wait to see if he will choose to help and be the player scouting reports say he should be?

Detroit, is in a bit of a pickle because of his limited ice production there is not much of a market for an occasional goal scorer. In a day and age when nearly every NHL has put a premium  on two way players Athanasiou, falls way behind.

The question Ken Holland, and the coaching staff must decide is do they trade him for a bare minimum return and hope he does not put it all together in another city? Or stick with him and hope that he grows up and grows into the roll he should be in?

With young wingers like Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Sevchnikov already gaining more ice time because they do play two ways at a high level game in and game out they seem to have placed Andreas Athanasiou, behind the eight ball.

Athanasiou, is doing himself no favors. The Red Wings, will soon make the call.

Detroit Lions: what to watch in OTA’s

Embed from Getty Images All rookies have been signed. Now it’s time to get to work on the 2018-19 Detroit Lions, football season. OTA’s are set to open this week. Here is my short list of what to keep and eye on.


  1. Left guard: who lines up there first isn’t an indicator of who will start week one. Or week one of the pre-season for that matter. Graham Glasgow, Laken Tomlinson  and Joe Dahl will be competing for the starting job.
  2. Running back; Detroit Lions, fans, coaches and front office will have all eyes on the mess that is the worst rushing attack in the NFL. Not sure Kerryon Johnson is handed the job.  It seems like the starter will be veteran tailback LeGarrette Blount.
  3. Linebackers: This may be the most athletic group Detroit, has ever had with a linbacking unit. All three starting linebackers Jarred Davis, Devon Kennard and  Jonathan Freeny are interchangeable. The backups at least for now are not. That will be up to head coach Matt Patrica and his staff to help them become more versatile.
  4. The new coaching staff: trying to place new systems in place is not always easy. Everyone must be on the same page. It all starts with the coaching staff. It will be something fans, media and everyone associated with the team watches.

It is time to open the curtain on another season of football in Motown. It will be interesting to see it begin to unfold starting this week.

Detroit Tigers: This is a rebuild?

Embed from Getty Images The Orioles, Royals, White Sox, Rangers, Marlins, Reds, Dodgers and Padres eight major league baseball teams are all on pace for 100 losses. In year one of a full blown rebuild the Detroit Tigers are not.

Picked to be the worst team in MLB this season the Detroit Tigers, are defying the laws of rebuilding. They stand just 1.5 games out of first place. While the Dodgers, who many picked to return to the World Series are only three games better than the Cincinnati Reds. The worst team in baseball.

The Tigers are a scrappy bunch who compete. No really they compete from first inning to ninth. Even with a suspect bullpen. In the words of former Detroit Red Wing Tomas Tatar, “are you not entertained?”

This team lead by manager Ron Gardenhire, has been an absolute delight to watch. They are a rag-tag bunch made up of nearly an entire Triple-A roster. The best part for both the organization and fans is that none of the top prospects have played in Motown.

Yet, through it all we can start to see the players that will be part of the Detroit Tigers, next title run. Relief pitcher Joe Jimenez, figures to be the closer as he has been great this season.  Outfielder JaCoby Jones who has become a fan favorite with his all-out play will be there.

There are a few others. The Tigers, seem to have thrown the “rebuilding teams must lose a lot of games” method from their plans. They are winning fans over in the Motor City.

Enjoy the rest of the baseball season. No matter what it brings. Remember Detroit, will only get better when top prospects put of the Old English “D.”


Detroit Red Wings: draft prospect Quinton Hughes

Embed from Getty Images In the market for a top line defender, the Detroit Red Wings should look no further than Michigan Wolverines, defensive player Quinn Hughes.


He stand 5′ 10″. But Michigan defender Quinton Hughes, is an outstanding NHL prospect. In the 2018 NHL draft he is the fastest defensive player in the draft. He has a high hockey I.Q.

Hughes, is close to Pittsburgh Penguins Kris Letang in terms of comparison. He is not afraid to hit or be hit. He has exceptional balance and a lethal shot. He has the quickness to make up for any flaws (which are very few) he may have.

Quinton Hughes, is NHL ready. Which is good news for the rebuilding Red Wings.  He can quarterback the power play as well.

In short for a Detroit, team who has needed a top line defenseman for some time have a very good opportunity to add one. Given his Michigan, roots Wings fans would love to have one of the states own playing in Motown.

Quinn, does need to gain some upper body strength. But that could come in games played in the NHL. He simply would be wasted in the minors.

Mother’s Day 2018

Embed from Getty Images My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:20

Sports and Mom. They don’t belong together. Or do they? A Mom lets you dream big and lets you do what you love.

I understand some of us our blessed with great mothers and others of us well we just wish we had a mother.

I was blessed with a mom who allowed me to follow my passion of watching and soaking in Detroit sports. She did not have much love for what I did. But she allowed me space to be my own person.

In fact my mom used to work the “be your own person” phrase into my life often. It worked. The same way a batter takes batting practice everyday. Until it just takes over.

Being a mom is like being a head coach or manager. Always staying positive and cheering even when things went bad.

Mothers are to be cherished. I am doubly blessed in that my wife has worked tirelessly to become an unbelievable mother. She works and cheers through the ups and downs of our children’s lives.

I am blessed that she had an amazing mom to learn from much the same way I did. My life and my children’s lives are rich in love and knowledge with the grace and wisdom the ladies in our life have bestowed on us.

It is Mothers Day. It is a great day. No matter where you are in life. Mom’s are the staple of who we are.

Detroit Tigers: draft prospect Nick Madrigal

The Detroit Tigers, minor leagues are full of top pitching prospects. For the Tigers, to speed the rebuild up they should look no further than University of Oregon State 2B Nick Madrigal.

He stands just 5′ 7″ but don’t let that fool you. Madrigal, is a very good player. Much in the same vein as Houston Astros star 2B Jose Altuve who is also 5′ 7″. Nick Madrigal is almost a Altuve clone.

Above average in the field and with a bat. Nick, will most likely not make it out of the top 5 draft picks in the 2018 MLB draft. He hits to all fields with some pop in his bat.

His glove work is so good he can be penciled in as a future Gold Glove winner. If the Detroit Tigers do draft Nick Madrigal, then the future of the team has a good core of players to begin competitive baseball at Comerica Park.

Madrigal, draws a lot of walks in part because of his size and in part because he is so disciplined at the plate. He is very fast and can steal bases. This is exactly the type of player Detroit, needs to draft and develop.

He would be an outstanding addition to the Detroit Tigers. Mostly because he will not be there long after the team picks first in the draft.

Detroit Tigers: prospect profile Christian Stewart

Embed from Getty Images When the Washington Nationals, signed Detroit Tigers free agent pitcher Max Scherzer, in 2015 it gave the Tigers a compensation draft pick. They used that draft pick on University of Tennessee’s Christian Stewart.

He can hit. That is not a problem. He is in baseball terms “a thumper.” Stewart, has plus raw power. He can hit the snot out of the ball. Not only for power but for average.

He will remind Detroit fans of Adam Dunn. Only unlike Dunn, Stewart has a good batting average. If Christian Stewart hits 30+ home runs and knocks in 80+ R.B.I.’s Tigers fans will be pleased.

There is a hold up though. For all he can do with a bat in his hands. He is woeful in the outfield. He is well below average in arm, glove and speed. At 6′ 0″ Stewart is too short to be considered for first base.

That leaves the Detroit Tigers using a draft pick to get a designated hitter (D.H.) I don’t want to whine or complain. They team drafted a very good hitter. Although he is one dimensional. His bat will be welcomed in the Detroit Tigers, rebuild.

The team may be forced to using Stewart, in the field when the team plays National League teams.

That said Christian Stewart, is a prospect I like. A lot. He will be a good fit in Comerica Park. Playing this season in Toledo with the Mud Hens. Christian, should get a September call up when the rosters are expanded.

Detroit Pistons: Van Gundy era must close

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, reportedly wants Stan Van Gundy back as his head coach. But Gores, also wants wholesale changes made to the front office and Van Gundy’s coaching staff. Stan Van Gundy, is refusing.

It is more clear now then when the curtain closed on the 2017-18 Detroit Pistons season. Stan Van Gundy, and the Pistons must separate. Soon.

When any owner and coach disagree on strategies and personal decisions the end is near. Van Gundy, has one year left on his contract. So it would be no harm is letting him go.

It is clear the team needs a fresh direction. From front office employees to general manager as well as head coach. Things get a bit tricky as the Detroit Pistons, do not have a first round draft pick due to trading for Blake Griffin.

This is a time for Tom Gores, to step up as a leader and usher in a new era for the Pistons. If Van Gundy, is willing to let his pride be his downfall then Gores should oblige.

Detroit Pistons fans deserve more than a coach who’s thinking is out of touch with today’s game. It will also help to bring new fans to the team. In short the Detroit Pistons need a do-over.