Mize has done nothing but validate the Tigers taking him with the first pick in last year’s draft. He overpowered Florida State League hitters for four starts before moving up to Double-A. He has been equally dominant in the Eastern League, where I got a look at the right-hander in June versus Trenton.
At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Mize has the prototypical size and durability of a starting pitcher. His delivery is simple in its operation, and he’s able to repeat it despite mild effort. His fastball sits 93-to-95 mph, occasionally taking a little bit off in order to create more sink. Mize’s best off-speed pitch is a plus splitter that he is comfortable throwing to both righties and lefties. It tumbles out of the zone at times, but the potential for a swing-and-miss offering was clear, with hard, late diving action at best. His power slider comes in at 84-to-87 mph with sharp break, able to execute the pitch to lefties and spot it on their back leg. He struggled with it early but was able to find more feel for the slider as the game progressed. With three pitches in the mid-80s or higher, Mize shows pitching IQ by executing a slower true curveball to throw a wrinkle into his hitting speed. It keeps the opposition off balance, making it tougher to just sit on anything hard.
Mize wasn’t at his sharpest in my look, but the way he battled and executed his pitches was impressive. He’s one of baseball’s best pitching prospects for good reason. A rare mix of physicality, stuff, and pitchability, Mize has the ingredients to develop into a FV 60 frontline starter.