Embed from Getty Images “It is only spring training, The games do not matter, That was nice but can he do it again?” Is there any other cliche phrase to throw out? Friday afternoon Tarik Skubal (pronounced Scoo ball) took to the mound and put on a show.
Tarik Skubal picked up where he left off last season, pounding the strike zone. Fastballs gave way to change ups, which gave way to curve balls mixed with some sliders. Strike after strike.
Skubal was so locked in and so dominant Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire sat in the dugout looked right at Tigers general manager Al Avila pointed at himself as if to tell Avila he wanted Skubal with him in Detroit. Avila waved his hands as if to reply not yet.
With an 18 strike on 22 pitches, Tarik Skubal struck out five of the six batters he faced. The other was a weak ground ball out. Pitching in front of the Detroit Tigers front office did not phase the young left handed pitcher.
Much like last season, and much like many of the Tigers top pitching prospects Skubal was in control and attacked the strike zone working fast, and dominating hitter after hitter.
If the pitching phenom was nervous he did not show it. “I just wanted to fill the zone and throw strikes.” Skubal told reporters after the game. His fastball sat at 95-96 mph, although he did his 99 a few times on the gun.
Like Detroit Tigers pitching prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Franklin Perez and others, Tarik Skubal was composed and looked like the total package.
Going back to last season, Skubal looks like the steal on the 2018 MLB draft. Detroit drafted the lefty in the ninth round from Seattle University. Ever since that draft Skubal has dominated and shot through the Detroit Tigers minor leagues.
It is worth noting that current Tiger pitcher Matthew Boyd is mentoring the young Skubal. Skubal said Boyd reached out to him this past offseason.
Tarik Skubal, is the No. 34 ranked prospect in baseball, as ranked by Baseball America. Skubal is considered the No. 4 prospect in the Tigers organization behind Mize, Manning and outfielder Riley Greene per MLB Pipeline.
The young Tigers pitching prospects have been putting on a show during spring training. Leading many to wonder when they will arrive in Detroit. Based on performance it will not be long.
That said, the top prospects should get more developing time in the minor leagues at least to start the season. No need to rush anyone. The Detroit Tigers are not a playoff team.
They will be very soon.