Detroit Tigers prospects observations: Dillon Dingler, 2 young pitchers star in scrimmage

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers are at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium for an intrasquad scrimmage at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The game features the organization’s best prospects.

The two groups were Team Trammell, wearing white uniforms, and Team Horton, wearing grays. Two umpires were active for the game, one behind home plate and the other down the first-base line.

Right-hander Dylan Smith, the Tigers’ third-round draft pick in 2021, started for Team Trammell; righty Tanner Kohlhepp, the fifth-round pick in the same draft, started for Team Horton.

Team Horton: Parker Meadows (CF), Dillon Dingler (C), Cristian Santana (SS), Izaac Pacheco (3B), Josh Lester (1B), Daniel Cabrera (LF), Roberto Campos (RF), Jose De La Cruz (DH), Luis Carpio (2B).

Team Trammell: Riley Greene (CF), Spencer Torkelson (1B), Ryan Kreidler (SS), Andre Lipcius (3B), Eric De La Rosa (RF), Jacob Robson (LF), Jack Lopez (2B), Danuerys De La Cruz (DH), Eliezer Alfonzo (C).

Tigers insider Evan Petzold is at TigerTown for the game, which features Spencer TorkelsonRiley Greene and other players. Follow along below for his live observations as the action progresses:

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First inning

TOP (HORTON): Smith worked efficiently on the mound, generating weak contact and flashing his revered slider. Meadows popped out to second base, Dingler grounded out to third base and Pacheco popped out to shortstop. Smith, who played college ball at Alabama, has impressed the Tigers’ coaches so far in minicamp.

READ MORE: Why Dylan Smith says he’s ‘the steal of this draft’ already

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Featuring an unorthodox delivery, Kohlhepp matched Smith’s performance. He took care of Greene (groundout to second base), Torkelson (groundout to third base) and Kreidler (flyout to left field). Kohlhepp sat around 94 mph with his fastball, also maxing out at 91 mph with his cutter.

SCORE: Team Horton 0, Team Trammell 0.

READ MORE: Inside the pitches that make Tigers prospect Tanner Kohlhepp ‘meteoric’

Second inning

TOP (HORTON): Right-hander Jordan Marks, the Tigers’ eighth-round pick in 2021, picked up right where Smith finished his outing. Marks tossed a scoreless inning and faced the minimum three batters. But he was no match for 18-year-old shortstop Cristian Santana, who drilled a single into left field. Santana, who hasn’t played above the Dominican Summer League, his youth on the bases, immediately getting picked off at first base for the first out. Then, Marks retired Lester and Cabrera to complete his outing.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): After Kohlhepp’s success, Team Horton turned to right-hander Austin Bergner. Lipcius, who homered in Thursday’s scrimmage, stayed hot with a single, and De La Rosa followed with a walk. Robson drove them in with a two-RBI double into the right-field corner, giving his team a 2-0 lead. Although Bergner struck out Lopez swinging, the inning ended with one out due to his pitch count.

SCORE: Team Horton 0, Team Trammell 2.

Third inning

TOP (HORTON): Right-hander Erick Pinales pitched a perfect frame, taking care of Campos (flyout to center field), Jose De La Cruz (lineout to left field) and Carpio (groundout). For De La Cruz’s line drive, Robson robbed him of extra bases with a sliding catch in the outfield. Pinales, 23, pitched 17 innings for Low-A Lakeland last season.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Bergner stayed on the mound for Team Horton and looked like a completely different pitcher. A runner started a second base because of the previous outing. Danuerys De La Cruz grounded out, and it wasn’t until Alfonzo’s groundout that the runner advanced to third base. Bergner got ahead 0-2 in the count to Greene, then struck him out looking with his fourth pitch.

SCORE: Team Horton 0, Team Trammell 2.

Fourth inning

TOP (HORTON): Right-hander Blake Holub, the Tigers’ 15th-round pick in last year’s draft, squandered Team Trammell’s two-run lead. He allowed the first two batters he faced to reach safely: Chris Rabago (extra hitter) walked, and Meadows singled to left field on a slow roller through the infield. That’s when Dingler, the organization’s fourth-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, crushed Holub’s fastball over the left-field wall for a three-run home run. The ball landed at the base of the “Welcome to TigerTown USA” painted brick. Pacheco popped out for the first out, and the inning ended because of Holub’s pitch count.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Right-hander Markus Solbach, the oldest player in minor-league minicamp, pitched a perfect third inning for Team Horton. He retired Torkelson, Kreidler and Lipcius. Solbach, 30, posted an 8.12 ERA in 47⅔ innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City (Los Angeles Dodgers) in 2021.

SCORE: Team Horton 3, Team Trammell 2.

Fifth inning

TOP (HORTON): Right-hander Brendan White, a 26th-round pick in 2019, pitched for Team Trammell. Cooper Johnson (extra hitter) made the first out. Santana drew a five-pitch walk and — after Lester’s flyout to center field — scored for a 4-2 lead on Cabrera’s two-out double down the left-field line. Cabrera, though, was thrown out trying to advance to third base to end the inning. White, who pitches from a lower arm slot, consistently hit 94 mph with his fastball and showed his high-spin breaking ball.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Solbach returned to the mound, hitting 93 mph with his fastball in his second inning. De La Rosa singled to right field, stole second base and scored on Robson’s triple to left field for Team Trammell’s third run. To escape further damage, Solbach sent down Lopez, Mike Rothenberg (extra hitter) and Josh Crouch (extra hitter).

SCORE: Team Horton 4, Team Trammell 3.

Sixth inning

TOP (HORTON): Right-hander Garrett Burhenn, the Tigers’ ninth-round pick in 2021 from Ohio State, surrendered two runs in the sixth inning. Campos and Colt Keith (pinch-hitter) recorded back-to-back singles. Jose De La Cruz struck out swinging. Carpio singled up the middle to score Campos for a 5-3 lead, and later on, Meadows punched a two-out single to the right-center gap to score Keith and take a three-run advantage.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Right-hander Chavez Fernander earned eight relief appearances in the Arizona Fall League last season, and he proved why with his intrasquad performance. He got Greene to groundout to second base on a 2-2 splitter and struck out Torkelson swinging with his breaking ball. Kreidler singled to left field, but Fernander ended the inning by striking out Lipcius with an elevated fastball.

SCORE: Team Horton 6, Team Trammell 3.

Seventh inning

TOP (HORTON): Zac Houston, a 27-year-old righty, pitched Team Trammell’s final inning. He struck out Johnson, who moved up in the lineup, and gave up a single to Dingler. The right-handed hitter pushed the ball down the first-base line past a diving Torkelson. Both Pacheco and Santana struck out on three pitches.

BOTTOM (TRAMMELL): Right-hander Michael Bienlien pitched a perfect seventh to finish the game. He recorded outs against De La Rosa, Robson and Lopez. His fastball averaged 92-94 mph.

FINAL: Team Horton 6, Team Trammell 3.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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