Tigers prospects Clark, McGonigle spark Lakeland's 'astonishing' start

Tigers prospects Clark, McGonigle spark Lakeland’s ‘astonishing’ start
Full article at the link, keep in mind, it’s Henning who wrote this.
A few snippets:

There is a reason the Tigers plucked Clark third last July — ahead of Wyatt Langford, ahead of Walker Jenkins, ahead of all but two players in the 2023 draft.

His skill-set is categorically upper-echelon in a game that is the most difficult of all sports.

“He’s a clutch player,” Graham said. “Sometimes he loses his at-bats (fails) and sometimes that’s because of his age and experience and we have to work hard on him being more consistent every single time at the plate.

“He doesn’t like how he’s hitting — what is he, .260?” Graham asked, all before the computer had spit out Clark’s corrected .267 average. “And that’s because he’s never failed.

“But he’s leading the league in RBIs (35 in 45 games). So, what’s that say?

“He comes up clutch when he needs to. He has an idea how to put the barrel on the ball and move it forward at the right times.”

Josue Briceno.

Briceno (his first name is pronounced Ho-SWAY) is, like McGonigle and Clark, 19 years old. He, like those two, also bats left-handed. And in their elevated manner he also was hitting with steady thunder (.306/.405/.426/.831) until he sprained a knee during a May 12 rundown.

Briceno, a catcher and first baseman, is rehabbing at that grand facility beyond the Marchant/Publix right-field wall. In keeping with the Tigers’ dictum about injuries during the Scott Harris era, there is steady radio-silence about his condition and timetable for return.

McGonigle, 19, and a shortstop who probably is destined for second base, is a first answer, and by no means a shocking story after he was drafted 37th overall a year ago out of high school.

He went 0-for-6 Wednesday night, which for him qualifies as a slump, but not once struck out. He arrived Thursday batting .342. His on-base percentage was .421 and his OPS a wicked .909.

“He had an off-day tonight but still put the ball forward and made things happen,” Graham said after the game, sitting in his office within the same Tigers clubhouse the MLB Tigers are housed during spring camp.

“An off-day, for me, is four punches (strikeouts) and not moving the ball forward. McGonigle still puts pressure on them, always. He just missed that first pitch (a sky-high drive, foul, to right field, leading off the Tigers’ first inning).

“And he’s a gamer. I love him.”

What few in the Tigers’ orbit will say is that McGonigle could be the fastest of all of the Tigers’ youngest crop to reach Comerica Park. Think in terms of 2026, at the latest. This is unique talent owned by a teen whose left-handed bat is exceptional.

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Buddy Kennedy got traded to the Phillies today. For cash.

Yea, he cleared waivers from I saw so cash it is.

How many half dollars did we get for Buddy?

They didn’t say.

Meh, a very Dulles report then.

And McGonigle with a leadoff double for the Flying Tigers tonight.

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I see that McGonigle ended up going 3 for 4 last night.

His BA is up to .355

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You can’t tell me that right now, this very second,

Javy Baez is a better hitter than McG