JaCoby Jones slated for second season in AFL

Whenever JaCoby Jones is done tearing up Major League pitching in Detroit this season, he has a return engagement scheduled with the Arizona Fall League. The Tigers’ newest rookie contributor is one of seven Detroit prospects named to the Salt River Rafters roster.

Five of the players rank on MLB.com’s Top 30 Tigers prospect rankings, led by Double-A Erie slugger and All-Star Futures Game participant Christin Stewart (No. 3). Class A Lakeland right-hander Spencer Turnbull (12th), Erie reliever Adam Ravenelle (20th) and SeaWolves catcher Grayson Greiner (26th) also are headed to Arizona, as are Erie starter Artie Lewicki and Lakeland starter Jeff Thompson.

The list came together before the Tigers decided to call up Jones from Triple-A Toledo Tuesday. Now that Jones is up with the big club, the plan remains for him to take part, allowing him more at-bats after losing a month and a half serving out the final 39 games of his 2015 suspension. Jones is expected to be the Tigers’ priority player in the league, designating him for more playing time.

Jones, acquired from Pittsburgh at last year’s Trade Deadline for Joakim Soria, enjoyed a strong season in last year’s AFL, batting .280 (14-for-50) with home runs and four RBIs before he was suspended for testing positive for a substance of abuse. After a strong Spring Training, Jones finished his suspension, then picked up where he left off, batting .257 (95-for-369) with 20 doubles, seven triples, seven home runs and 43 RBIs between Toledo and Double-A Erie. He rebounded from a rough start with the Mud Hens to bat .269 (29-for-108) in August, with seven doubles, a triple and seven RBIs.

Jones hit .340 (18-for-57) over his last 13 games in Toledo with five doubles and a triple.

Stewart, a first-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee, began his first full pro season by punishing Florida State League pitching for 24 home runs and 22 doubles in 104 games at Class A Lakeland. He batted .264 with a .403 OBP, aided by 74 walks, for a .936 OPS on his way to FSL All-Star honors. He entered Wednesday batting .264 (14-for-63) at Erie with 10 walks and 22 strikeouts in 18 games.

Greiner, a third-round pick in 2014 out of South Carolina, has enjoyed an offensive renaissance since his June promotion to Erie, batting .289 (59-for-204) in 58 games with eight doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 30 RBIs, good for a .782 OPS.

One of the better arms Greiner has caught is Ravenelle, the former Vanderbilt reliever drafted in the fourth round two years ago. He’s 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA and four saves in six chances between Erie and Lakeland, allowing 46 hits over 54 innings with 32 walks and 54 strikeouts.

Lewicki, an eighth-round pick in 2014, owns a 3-8 record despite a 3.43 in 13 starts and two relief appearances between Erie and Lakeland. The right-hander has allowed 76 hits in as many innings but just three home runs with 16 walks and 67 strikeouts.

Turnbull, Detroit’s second-round pick out of Alabama, got off to a late start to the season, pitching in the rookie level Gulf Coast League until joining the Flying Tigers in August. He’s 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA over five starts in Lakeland, allowing 17 hits over 24 innings with seven walks and 22 strikeouts.

Thompson, a third-round pick in 2013 out of Louisville, has had an up-and-down season but has put his pitching together down the stretch. The 6-for-6 right-hander is 7-7 with a 3.52 ERA at Lakeland, allowing 99 hits over 117 2/3 innings with 66 walks and 99 strikeouts.


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He could fulfill the part Aviles was supposed to play.

Just got back from the Big D. First time at Comerica. It was a lot of fun. Section 135 Tues.(just behind the outfield end of Tiger’s dugout) and 138 Wed. Now I can say I saw Jacoby’s Tiger debut. Didn’t know about his call up until we got into the park yesterday. He looks like a good one. His mom and dad were thrilled and proud as could be. Nice to see. Two come from behind victories, actually all 3. They are playing like a team. Classy move letting Jacoby hit in the 9th today. Brad could have easily pinch hit for him with Miguel on the bench. And the confidence paid off. Loved the all out head first slide on Collin’s SF. He probably could have made it skipping home but no way was he leaving anything on the table. It was dramatic. OK, those were my 2 games. Who’s up next?

That’s cool Marty and you are right about Miggy PHing. I hadn’t thought of him PHing for JJ but I guess it would have been a logical decision.

Ausmus said that was never an option. Miguel needs the almost 3 days of rest

Garcia was too eager to make the throw and ,as we say here, the trigger got jammed. If not, it was an easy out at home.

Driving through Windsor I remembered it was your home town Dan. El T you may be right but from my perspective, it looked like the ball was hit deep enough. In real time I’m trying to keep an eye on the ball, catch, and runner simultaneously. Once the catch was made, I turned to Jacoby and the throw never came near. So I missed Garcia’s act of throwing, and still haven’t seen the replay on his end. I will respectfully disagree that it was an easy out at home, but you have the advantage of many looks from different cameras. Jacoby’s got speed. Yes El T, the decision to let Jacoby hit was not difficult really. He was hitting the ball so well and if on base his speed would become a huge advantage. But still, when has giving Miguel rest ever stopped Brad (or Leyland) from using him in a critical pinch hit situation? In this case, however, it wasn’t that hard of a decision. To me, both Miguel and Victor looked tired while Jones was dialed in and on another level of energy. You are correct, it was never an option.

Where’s Rich? Haven’t heard from him in a while. Just watched the replay for the first time. Wasn’t hit as deep as I had remembered in my minds eye. Jacoby got a great start on the tag though.

I’ve been reading the comments but there seems to be a lot of negativity. I’m enjoying the heck out of this pennant race. This is what it’s all about. We’ve had an interesting ballclub this season.

Good to hear from you. I’ve taken long hiatuses before, but, see, the difference is I care about your whereabouts🙂 I think what brings out the negativity so much is the streakiness of this team. They can get as flat as a pancake. 5 game skids as……… you know what I mean. All in all, this team is definitely more interesting than those in at least the past 5 years or so. There is a mix of youth and even some speed. Pitching is much better. We have a real closer. And it is huge having a rookie pitcher dominating and among the leaders. That hasn’t happened to us in a long time. So if we get to the playoffs there is more potential to play deep into them. No deadline trades I think was a good thing. It is about chemistry and this team has some. Cleveland showing desperation to hold on by making all the acquisitions. Good on them but if their SP stumbles it may not be enough anyway. Our SP is shaping up at the right time. Turn a couple of hungry prospects loose and we might make it. Course whoever gets to WS likely will be dealing with a destined Cubs team……unless they blow it again. Which could happen. I remain optimistic.

Thanks for caring about my whereabouts………whoever you are. 🙂 Hope your family is well.
A full six months of contention is all I ask. Then they either win something or they don’t.

Totally agree with your analysis, Marty.

Fingers crossed on Zimmermann. I think Fullmer may be tiring and Z’s return to winning form will be crucial. Pelfrey might come in handy in a relief capacity.
I am not sold on KRod continuing to amass saves despite the inability to keep runners off the base paths. Still adhere to the belief that your closer has to be able to throw strikes, get Ks and have clean innings more often than not.
“Frankiely” I don’t have a sublime sense of confidence when he enters the game.
Still thinking they need a backup plan for the rest of the season—-just in case.

I think your takes are just realistic, not negative. I also think reasonable critical analysis is just an approach to build a balanced perspective. However, when whining is constant, I would agree with Rich that it is too much negativity. Without discernment, the commenter loses credibility.

I feel similarly about cheerleader types That perspective also lacks credibility as far as I am concerned.

Quinton Berry picked up by Toronto. He always makes his money at the end of the season for someone else’s team.

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