The Oakland Athletics sent Logan Shore to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, completing the Mike Fiers trade made at the deadline. It is a solid addition to an already impressive arsenal in the minor leagues for the Tigers.
The Tigers have acquired minor league RHP Logan Shore from the A's as the second PTBNL for Mike Fiers. Shore was the A's No. 10 prospect entering the year— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) September 19, 2018
The Tigers have been quietly amassing some nice arms in the minor leagues. Shore joins a nice stock of pitchers not too far away from contributing. Alex Faedo, Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Beau Burrows, Franklin Perez, Kyle Funkhowser, and now Shore rival just about any team’s top pitching prospects.
So, what does Shore bring to the mix?
Shore, of course, is another Florida Gator product, where they seemingly grow pitchers on trees. The 6’2” righty finished his illustrious career in Gainesville with a junior season to remember, going 12-1 with a 2.31 ERA and striking out 96 while walking just 19 in 105.1 innings. The accolades rolled in, as Shore was an All-American, the SEC Pitcher of the Year, and a finalist for both the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards.
The A’s of 2016 were much like the Royals of 2018, taking back-to-back Gators in the 2016 MLB Draft. After snagging A.J. Puk in the first round, the Athletics made Shore their second round pick.
Our own John Sickels had Shore a little bit lower than most, ranking him the 13th-best prospect in the A’s system heading into 2018. Here’s what he said:
Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; posted 4.09 ERA with 74/16 K/BB in 73 innings in High-A, 81 hits; missed a month with a lat strain; fastball around 90 and a bit higher can play up due to contrast with excellent change-up; slider needs more consistency as it varies between mediocre and plus, probably more of a number four starter than an ace unless his velocity picks up further, or unless the breaking ball becomes more consistent, which could happen. ETA 2019.
Shore is known for his competitive fire and the always enamored pitchability. That isn’t to say he has bad stuff, he simply isn’t an ace in the making.
(video from 2080 Baseball Youtube page)
Shore starts on the first base side, and has a pretty fluid and repeatable delivery for the most part. There seems to be some effort in his throw as well, which always raises some concern.
Although I did not personally have eyes on Shore this season, most reports indicate that his fastball velocity is up, touching 94. The fastball isn’t Shore’s calling card as his changeup is one of the better one’s in all of the minor leagues. His biggest setback is a third pitch. His breaking ball which appears to be a slider, but has been described with splitter characteristics in several reports, is still rough. It lacks consistency, and obviously shape with different reports citing a different pitch.
The 23-year-old had an up-and-down 2018. Literally. He spent time split between High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland. He was dominant in the California League, which speaks volumes with the thin air and homer-friendly confines, but looked hardly like the pitching prospect he was known as in the Texas League, as his strikeouts were way down, his walk rate was way up, and hitters teed off on him for a .306 BAA, although most of those were ground balls.
Shore suffered his first major injury in 2017, but for the most part hasn’t been a health issue. Until his Double-A stint in 2018, Shore was a command artist, with the ability to miss bats and induce ground balls, but limit walks and go innings. He still has all the appeal of a back-of-the-rotation starter, which is something every team needs in this era of baseball. With so many upper-echelon pitchers in the system, Shore is a nice get for the Tigers, not needing to be the next ace and should have the time afforded to him to become the pitcher he needs, and likely can, become.