DETROIT – Pitching prospect Alex Faedo twirled a gem Wednesday, turning in his most dominant outing since the Detroit Tigers selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft.
Though he doesn't have the same prospect pedigree as Casey Mize and Matt Manning, the top two prospects in the Tigers organization, Faedo is still an important part of the future plans.
He was a consensus top 100 prospect after being selected 18th overall in the 2017 draft, but fell from the list with a rough showing in Double-A Erie last season.
Faedo has been much better with the SeaWolves this year, but there has still been some inconsistency. Despite the struggles mixed into his flashes of dominance, Faedo's numbers are solid -- 69 strikeouts and 10 walks in 56.2 innings, 1.059 WHIP, 3.81 ERA in 10 starts.
Wednesday was the best start of Faedo's career. He struck out 12 batters in 6.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and two walks against the Reading Fightin Phils.
Faedo generated an astonishing 22 swinging strikes in 99 pitches, both season highs.
This was the second strong start in a row for Faedo, who whiffed seven batters while allowing just three hits, one walk and one run over six innings against the Bowie Baysox last week.
Tigers fans are relieved to see Faedo put together such a strong pair of starts after allowing 11 runs on 16 hits in his previoius two outings.
Faedo's starts have either been outstanding or terrible so far this season, but there's been far more positive than negative.
He's gone at least six innings and given up fewer than three runs in seven of his 10 starts. He hasn't had fewer than five strikeouts in any of those starts.
In the three bad starts, Faedo has allowed a total of 18 earned runs on 25 hits in 13.1 innings. Home runs have been the culprit in his rough outings: a four-homer effort against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and a three-homer game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Faedo has allowed eight homers in his three bad starts and only one in his seven good starts. When he keeps the ball in the yard, he's capable of putting up top 100 prospect numbers.
Most importantly, Faedo has gotten back to missing bats this season. After striking out just 8.2 batters per nine innings last year, he's up to 11 strikeouts per nine innings this year.
If he can maintain a high strikeout rate and lower his home run rate, Faedo will be mentioned with Mize and Manning as part of the Tigers' rotation of the future.