DETROIT – The top prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization is inching toward the top spot in all of baseball, as Casey Mize moved up to No. 3 overall in the MLB prospect rankings last week.
Mize moved up because three players -- Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Reds center fielder Nick Senzel -- graduated from prospect status.
No. 1 prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. will soon graduate from the list, as well. He's at 111 at-bats for the San Diego Padres this season, just 19 shy of surpassing his prospect status.
For now, though, Mize is the No. 3 overall prospect in baseball behind Tatis and Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco.
Mize is currently the No. 1 pitching prospect in the game, just ahead of No. 5 Mackenzie Gore, of the Padres, and No. 6 Forrest Whitley, of the Houston Astros. The other nine top 12 prospects are hitters.
Since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Tigers last year, Mize's numbers are simply incredible. He's made 12 starts this season between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, and only once allowed more than two runs.
Mize owns a 0.95 ERA and 0.687 WHIP across those 12 starts. Of the 276 batters he's faced, 56 have reached base and 73 have struck out.
He's been nearly unhittable and doesn't give up walks and home runs. Even though he was an obvious choice at No. 1 in the draft, Mize has likely exceeded even the most optimistic expectations to this point.
Mize's most recent start came Friday against the Trenton Thunder. He allowed just one run while striking out eight batters in five innings. He also generated 18 swinging strikes, his highest total of the season.
Eight of Mize's 12 starts have been scoreless. He's allowed one run twice and two runs once. His worst outing was a four-run start against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on May 15.
Mize has been consistently dominant, both in terms of run prevention and missing bats.
When Tatis graduates, Mize will be the No. 2 overall prospect in the game. Franco will be a deserving choice at No. 1 overall, as he's got a .323 average and .914 OPS as an 18-year-old in Single-A.
Franco has 24 extra-base hits in 53 games and 25 walks to just 17 strikeouts.
While he might not take over the top spot, Mize has risen consistently through the rankings since being drafted -- from No. 26 overall to No. 6 to No. 3. Tigers fans should be excited about their possible future ace.