Tigers send five prospects, Lakeland pitching coach Mike Maroth to Arizona Fall League
DETROIT — Five prospects from the Tigers’ system are headed to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.
The group includes pitchers Kyle Lobstein, Will Clinard and Corey Knebel, along with second baseman Devon Travis and outfielder Tyler Collins.
A 13th-round pick in the 2012 draft, Travis has carved up minor league pitching this season at two stops in Class A. The diminutive second baseman hit .352 at Low-A West Michigan, then has hit .330 since jumping to High-A Lakeland, combining for 25 doubles and 11 home runs at the two levels.
A sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Collins had a good spring as a non-roster invitee to Tigers camp, then has had a decent season at Double-A Erie, hitting for power — 18 home runs, 27 doubles — but just a .240 average.
Acquired in a trade after the Rule 5 draft, Lobstein spent the spring in Tigers camp, then was acquired for good with another trade at the end of the spring, trading catcher Curt Casali for the right to keep the left-handed starter. Lobstein made 27 combined starts between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, striking out 142 in 161 2/3 innings pitched, and posting a combined 3.40 ERA.
Clinard and Knebel are both seen as fast-to-rise relief prospects.
A 19th-round pick in the 2012 draft, Clinard has already pitched on four different levels, making his way to Erie at the end of this season. Knebel was the Tigers’ second first-round pick this spring — the competitive balance pick swapped in the trade with Miami that brought Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez — and has dominated at West Michigan, posting an 0.64 ERA and 13 saves, striking out 38 in 28 innings.
Mike Maroth, the former Tiger starter who’s now the pitching coach at Lakeland, will be the Solar Sox’s pitching coach for the AFL season.