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MLB Rookie Report: Warwick Saupold, RHP, Detroit Tigers

Over the weekend the Detroit Tigers promoted rookie right-hander Warwick Saupold to the major league roster and he's already appeared in two games, throwing 3.1 innings of combined scoreless relief against the Baltimore Orioles, fanning four while walking a pair along with three hits. Saupold received virtually no pre-season press but he does have an interesting background as a prospect. Let's take a look.

Saupold is an Australian, born in Perth and signed by the Tigers as a free agent in 2012, a bit older than typical for an international free agent. He reached Double-A quickly in 2013, posting a 3.28 ERA with an 82/51 K/BB in 129 innings for Erie, but was less effective on returning to that level in 2014, with a 5.01 ERA and a 125/65 K/BB in 140 innings. Last year he split the season between Erie and Triple-A Toledo, combining for a 4.08 ERA and a 94/42 K/BB in 124 innings.

Entering 2016 as a 26-year-old with a mediocre upper minors track record, he did not appear to be much of a prospect. He was off to a good start this spring for Toledo however, posting a 2.37 ERA in 32 innings and leading to his promotion when the Tigers needed an arm.

Saupold is a right-hander listed at 6-1, 195, born January 16, 1990. He has a four-pitch starter's arsenal: 90-92 MPH fastball, sliders and change-ups in the 80s, curves in the 70s. Nothing stands out as a plus but when his control is working properly the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts since he mixes his arsenal well. Although a starter in the minors I suspect that his best use at the major league level would be as a long reliever, or perhaps a middle man you can stretch out a bit due to his starting background.

FoxSportsDetroit notes that he has a really cool mom.

Here he shows off his 147KM fastball.

Here's some MLB Prospect Portal video.