The Detroit Tigers announced Monday that Casey Mize will be called up from their alternate training site to make his big-league debut Wednesday against the White-Sox. With that being said, let’s take a look at this young pitcher for the White Sox!
Born May 1, 1997, Mize is a right handed baseball pitcher. Casey attended Springville High School in his hometown of Springville, Alabama. During his high school career, he went and was undrafted as a high schooler, but eventually committed to Auburn University.
As a freshman in 2016, he went 2-5 through 7 starts. The following season, as a sophomore, he started 12 games and went 8-2 with 109 strikeouts and only nine walks. Following his strong showing as a sophomore, he played for the United States collegiate national team. Mize was named Auburn’s opening day starter for the 2018 season. On March 9, 2018, Mize threw a no-hitter against the Northeastern Huskies, the ninth in program history.
The Detroit Tigers made Mize their first overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. He then proceeded to sign with the team on June 25 2018, with his deal including a 7.5 million dollar signing bonus. He was the team’s first first overall pick since Matt Anderson in 1997. Mize made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Tigers of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. After one start, he was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League.
In 2018, he compiled a 3.95 ERA in five starts across both leagues.In 2019, after compiling a 0.35 ERA across four starts with Lakeland, the Tigers promoted him to AA Eerie Seawolves. In his first AA start, he tossed a no-hitter. He entered the 2020 season ranked as the number eight prospect by MLB.com. He’s the second pitcher on the list behind only Mackenzie Gore (5) and the second Tiger behind 2020 first overall pick Spencer Torkleson (7).
Mize’s bread and butter is his splitter, a nearly elite pitch that registers in the mid-80s with outstanding late tumbling action that causes it to bottom out as it nears the plate. This allows Mize to gain a lot of batter whiffs and weak contact. He sets up his splitter with a 93-95 mph fastball that can touch 97, and his heater consistently plays up because he commands it with ease to both sides of the plate.
Mize’s mid-80s slider gives him a third plus offering, one that has steadily improved over the past two years. He also can manipulate it into a harder, high-80s cutter when he desires. Mize demonstrates exemplary command of his entire arsenal when he’s at his best, issuing few walks while generating swinging strikes both inside and out of the zone.
According to Josh Vitale of Opelika-Auburn News, at least one college coach sees a little Verlander in Mize : “Army coach Jim Foster said Auburn Ace Casey Mize reminds him of Justin Verlander from his old college days at Old Dominion.”
Justin Verlander was the last player the Tigers selected in the top two going second in 2002.The Tigers current general manager, Al Avila, who’s been in the organization since 2002, even went as far as claiming Mize is way more of a sure thing now than Verlander was back then. He said in an interview with MLB.com, “Verlander was obviously a high pick and an elite pitcher. He threw 100 mph. My point was that at this point, I felt Mize was a bit more advanced in that his secondary pitches were a bit more refined than Verlander’s at that time. When we took Verlander, when he came here, he moved pretty quickly. But at the same time, there was a lot of work to be done.”
It’s safe to say that Mize has really big shoes to fill, however, he is just that talented and the sky is the limit for him.
To conclude this article, Mize is a super exciting prospect and everyone should be looking attentively towards his first major league start against the Chicago White sox.
Mize is going to headline a large crop of talented prospects who should be making the jump soon like Matt Manning, Spencer Torkleson and Riley Green. Two of the teams other top prospects, Isaac Paredes (6) and Tarik Skubal (5) have also been called up by the team.
Tigers fans everywhere should cross their fingers and hope that he becomes the team’s new ace for years to come.
Picture Source : USAToday
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