Mize tossed a complete-game no-hitter for Double-A Erie on Thursday, allowing just one walk and striking out seven in a 1-0 win.
Talk about making a splash at a new level. Mize was promoted from High-A to Double-A on Thursday, and he wasted no time proving he was ready for the bump up in competition. The 2018 No. 1 pick breezed through the Florida State League, allowing just one run on seven hits and one walk over 26 innings, and it looks like he could do the same in the Eastern League. Mize is one of the top pitching prospects in the game, and he appears to be on a fast track to the majors.
The Florida State League proved to be no challenge for Mize, who allowed just one run on seven hits and one walk over 26 innings while striking out 25. He'll face a stiffer test as he makes the move to the Eastern League, with his Erie debut set to come Sunday. Mize will occupy the same rotation as another hyped Tigers pitching prospect in Matt Manning, perhaps giving Erie the best 1-2 starter combination of any Double-A squad.
Mize tossed five scoreless innings and allowed just a single hit in his season debut Thursday with High-A Lakeland. He struck out eight.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Mize looked brilliant in his first start of 2019. The 21-year-old was limited to just 68 pitches, 47 of which he threw for strikes, but he should ramp that number up in future outings. Mize made four starts at High-A last season and will likely get a little more time there in 2019, though as a fairly advanced prospect who spent three years in college, he could advance up the ladder in short order.
Mize added a mid-80s slurve to his arsenal this spring -- a pitch that he says is his fourth-best offering but is "going to move up pretty quickly," Jim Callis of MLB.com reports. "I really like the shape of the pitch and how it was spinning," Mize said. "The slurve is something I've been working on all offseason, so I want to put that in a game and see that be successful. That's going to be big."
Part of what made Mize so appealing as the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft was his deep arsenal, but even so, he sought to add a sharper, more traditional breaking ball to his repertoire this offseason. A "slurve" is a term scouts use when referring to a breaking ball that has slider and curveball qualities and is therefore difficult to identify. The term is not often used in a positive light, as most scouts prefer a true curveball or slider, so it is good to hear Mize speak with confidence and satisfaction with regards to his new pitch. The three pitches he currently ranks ahead of his improving slurve are his fastball (because of how well he commands it), splitter (because it's his best offspeed pitch) and cutter (because he can throw it for strikes in hitter's counts).
Mize, the top overall pick in the 2018 first-year player draft, made two appearances in Grapefruit League play, giving up one run and striking out a pair of hitters over two innings. He'll likely open the 2019 campaign at Double-A Erie or High-A Lakeland.
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