Skubal has dominated two different minor league levels in 2019.
Following an utterly dominant season down in the minor leagues, Tarik Skubal is now on MLB Pipelines’ Top 100 Prospects list following the graduation of San Diego Padres infielder Luis Urias. This means the Detroit Tigers now have four players in the top 100. Skubal joins righthanders Casey Mize (No. 2) and Matt Manning (28), and outfielder Riley Greene (48) on Pipeline’s list.
This honor is very well earned for the southpaw. Skubal has been turning heads since being a ninth round selection in the 2018 draft. He finished out that draft year playing with a 0.40 ERA and 33 strikeouts while only walking four batters in 22 innings in the lower minors.
Skubal followed those results up this season by posting a 2.58 ERA in 80 1⁄3 innings with High-A Lakeland, earning a promotion to Double-A. Through six starts with Erie, Skubal has posted a 1.86 FIP with 60 strikeouts in just 29 1⁄3 innings.
Skubal reached double digit strikeout numbers in each of his first three starts with Erie. One of his six starts yielded five runs over 3 1⁄3 innings, but over his other five outings, he has allowed only one earned run. In four starts on the road since joining Erie, Skubal has yet to allow an earned run. He has given up just six hits over 20 1⁄3 innings and one unearned run with 44 strikeouts away from home. That same five-run blemish adds six walks to what is otherwise an excellent display of command. Skubal’s career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 190 to 35. And he has limited opponents to a .197 batting average against, for good measure.
MLB Pipeline lists Skubal’s future value at 55, or above average, and says he will makes nice left-handed compliment to the impressive group of righties in the Tigers’ system. Pipeline grades his fastball as a plus (60) pitch that can top out at 97 miles per hour with movement, along with an above-average slider and curveball. He is developing a changeup as a fourth pitch.
If Skubal keeps playing like this, his stock will continue to rise higher than the 100th best prospect in the game. For now, this is a nice rise for a later round draft pick, and a well-deserved honor following an incredible season for the lefthander.