The Tigers have sent James Skelton (or actually they just let the Diamondbacks keep him after the Rule 5 pick cleared waivers) to Arizona for Brooks Brown. I’ve written about Skelton in the past, so we’ll focus on Brown for a moment.
Brown started at AA for the Diamondbacks last year and had a 4.18 ERA with 112 K’s in 144 innings pitched. He’ll be assigned to Erie to start the year. The right hander is 24 years old. Brown didn’t make the BA top 10 for Arizona, but his name did come up in the chat and Will Lingo had this to say:
Will Lingo: That is a pretty good analysis. Brown took a 3.63 ERA into the final month last season, but he was pretty bad from there on out and in the AFL. His stuff also hasn’t been quite as good as it was in college, so some people think he should just take his sinker-slider combo to the bullpen. But his big frame and durability still suggest he could provide more value as a starter. He’ll get another shot in the Triple-A rotation, but I think if he gets to the big leagues it will be as a reliever.
Sickels had him as the 15th best prospect in the organization but noted a loss of velocity and command.
He does keep the ball in the park with only 14 homers allowed in over 300 minor league innings.
As for Skelton, he was a lefty slap hitting catcher with good speed and very good on base skills. He was also tiny and there were doubts that his skill set would translate well at higher levels. And that may have been evidenced as he struggled this spring. But…it is also an intriguing skill set and one I’m surprised to see the Tigers give up on.