Tom de Blok enters Tigers’ prospect top 50

According to the website prospects1500.com, Dutch pitcher Tom de Blok has entered the top 50 of Detroit Tigers prospects. Rather quick after his debut with the Tigers’ A Full Season team, the West Michigan WhiteCaps, Tom has made his presence felt.

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Just before the 2017 season, Tom was signed by the Detroit Tigers after a couple of solid outings for team Kingdom of the Netherlands with the World Baseball Classic. In two innings, he gave up one hit, struck out two and did not issue a walk.

After De Blok signed a deal with the Tigers, it took a while before he reported at the spring training complex of the Tigers in Florida due to paper issues.  Eventually, Tom debuted with the WhiteCaps on May 2nd against the Clinton LumberKings. The WhiteCaps lost 4-5 but De Blok pitched three scoreless innings in which he gave up one hit.

The Tigers liked what they saw and opted Tom to their A Short Season team in Norwich, CT to convert him into a starting pitcher. De Blok lasted only one game with the Connecticut Tigers as the parent club moved him up to West Michigan again. On June 21st, Tom debuted with the Connecticut Tigers. Of the thirteen hitters he faced, he retired five on strikeouts, four on groundouts and two on flyouts. Tom gave up only one hit and one walk. After Tom was sent up to the Midwest League again, he was practically unhittable for a while. But at one point he hit a snag. In his first start in the month of August, Tom lasted only 2.2 innings and gave up six runs on four hits. In the next three starts, Tom would give up four, seven and three runs.  But finally, on August 28, he pitched seven scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and struck out eight. In his final start before the playoffs, Tom also pitched seven scoreless innings.

The period in which he struggled, did not have any influence on the way the Tigers looked at him. He was named pitcher of the month of July.

According to prospects1500.com, “Tom looks like someone who could be a fast riser if he keeps up with the development he showed at the end of last season. With a fastball in the low 90’s, he may make a spot start here and there. He is worth keeping an eye on as he moves up to High-A next year.” Tom is ranked on spot 47 of the Tigers’ prospect list now.

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