With the first pick of the 2018 draft the Detroit Tigers selected college pitcher, Casey Mize, out of Auburn University where he left the school with an ERA of 2.96 while accumulating 324 total strike outs. Yes, the classic 1-1 (first round first overall) which I am jealous I will never be able to use in my life unless there is a draft that has to do with ice cream eating or drinking IPAs. Mize is 6’3 220 with a fastball, four seam and two seam, that stays around the mid 90’s that can reach up to 97, a splitter which he ranks second in effectiveness according to his interview with MLB.com’s Jim Callis and says “Split would be two because it’s my best offspeed offering”, pretty blunt, but he seems not to be lying, and his third pitch he offers is his cutter/slider that he called a cutter in this interview. The dudes got talent and it’s the type of talent the Tigers need to build off of in the coming years with a younger team in a bit of rebuild mode with father time creeping up on their star Miguel Cabrera.
After getting drafted, Mize only threw 13 innings during the 2018 season between rookie ball and High A ball equaling out to a 3.95 ERA, striking out 14 compared to only three walks. Not a bad debut but it’s hard to expect perfection even if the dude is legit. It was something to build off of in which Casey was also quoted speaking upon the workload he faces in the future saying;
“My throwing days were based on a five-day rotation so I could get my arm and my body used to that quick turnaround. Doing that on a much larger scale now, throwing 100 pitches and going to throw 100 pitches again five days later is something I need to develop the ability to do that well.”
Enough of talking about the past, let’s fast forward to 2019 and it seems like Casey Mize has figured something out. Starting out the season in High-A, Mize showed that he could handle pitching to peasants and needed a bit more competition with a 2-0 record through four starts with an ERA of 0.35, a WHIP of .308 (didn’t even know that was possible), all the while striking out 26 guys opposed to only ONE walk. Yes ONE WALK. His last start that finally opened the eyes of the Tigers minor league coordinators was a one hit eight inning gem where he struck out four and walked a hefty zero batters. So what did Mize do when he was promoted into Double-A?
The dude throws a fucking 98 pitch no-hitter. You read that right. Greg Maddux Esq as some would say if you remember those days. His first ever start above A ball and he throws a no-no. I mean, what the hell. To say he figured something out is an understatement. He uncharacteristically did walk one batter and hit the first batter of the game, but then he did some weird voo-doo shit and dominated striking out seven in the process. Sometimes it’s tough to invest too much into five starts to start the season, especially in the minor leagues and this being his first full season, but it’s different when in those five starts you allow literally only ONE earned run and have held hitters to an opposing average of just 0.65 and have produced an ERA of 0.26 and a WHIP of 0.257. The man has got it.
It’s time the baseball world starts to take notice of Casey Mize because the man is legit. He seems to have matured in the off-season and has taken the necessary steps, mentally and I suppose physically, to prepare himself for his up and coming future in the big leagues. With the Tigers really not looking to contend here in the near future, look for Mize to maybe maeke a start or two in September. If he doesn’t get his start at the end of the 2019 season, Mize should for sure be in Triple-A before the year is over. The man deserves some notoriety. Thank you.