Legends On Deck

Game Of The Week: Minor League Focus-Flying Tigers Host Tampa Yankees In FSL Opener


This week’s “Game of the Week” feature may focus on the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers but in this feature it’s time to look at the Florida State League’s version of this same series.

On Thursday night the Lakeland Flying Tigers hosted the Tampa Yankees on Opening Night at Joker Merchant Stadium and the two teams featured some of the best prospects in baseball.

The Tampa Yankees‘ roster includes some of the best prospects the organization has ever seen.

  • SS Jorge Mateo– International Signee in 2012; Ranked as Yankees’ Overall Top Prospect
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren– Drafted in the First Round of the 2014 MLB Draft; Ranked as Yankees’ 11th Best Prospect
  • RHP James Kaprielian– Drafted 16th Overall in the 2015 MLB Draft; Ranked as Yankees’ 4th Best Prospect
  • LHP Ian Clarkin– Drafted 33rd Overall in the 2013 MLB Draft; Ranked as Yankees’ 10th Best Prospect

The roster for the Flying Tigers includes nine top ten draft picks as well as three prospects listed in the club’s top fifteen prospects. Below are notable players on the Tigers’ roster:

  • OF Christin Stewart-Drafted in the First Round of the 2015 MLB Draft; Ranked as Tigers’ 4th Best Prospect
  • OF Mike Gerber– 2015 Tigers’ Minor League Player of the Year; Ranked as Tigers’ 5th Best Prospect
  • LHP Tyler Alexander– Drafted in the Second Round of the 2015 MLB Draft; Ranked as Tigers’ Fifteenth Best Prospect

Game Recap:

In the first game of the 2016 Florida State League regular season, RHP Vicente Campos took the start for the Tampa Yankees and for the Lakeland Flying Tigers it was Detroit Tigers’ reliever RHP Alex Wilson making a rehab start as he makes his way back to the Majors after suffering shoulder soreness this Spring.

Jorge Mateo got things off to an early start with a leadoff single on a line drive to center field. Mateo then stole second base and when Abiatal Avelino reached on a fielding error by Lakeland’s Joey Pankake; Mateo scored putting the T-Yanks up 1-0. After Avelino got caught stealing second base, Miguel Andujar hit a solo homer on a fly ball to left center field for a 2-0 ballgame.

The Tigers’ Mike Gerber tacked one on with a solo homerun on a fly ball to right field making it a 2-1 game.

In the top of the second Tampa’s Santiago Nessy hit a solo homer on a fly ball to left center to increase the lead to 3-1.

Wilson went just one and one-third innings for the Flying Tigers, allowing three runs on four hits; striking out two batters.

The T-Yanks had another offensive surge in the top of the fourth which started with a leadoff double by Nessy. Zack Sehner hit a single on a ground ball to short to put runners on the corners. Nessy scored off a wild pitch by Endrys Briceno and Zehner advanced to second. Back to back walks by Jorge Mateo and Avelino then loaded the bases. Miguel Andujar then grounded out sending home Zehner. Mateo and Avelino would then consecutively score runs as well to put Tampa up 7-2.

Briceno allowed six runs on seven hits in just two and one-third innings on the mound.

Mateo didn’t turn his hot bat off as he hit a two run triple in the top of the fifth which would secure a final 9-2 score.

Tigers’ outfielder Cameron Maybin also made his first rehab assignment on Thursday night for Lakeland, he went 0 for 2 with a walk. Maybin suffered a fracture to his wrist in the first Spring Training game of the season when he was hit by a 95 mph pitch off of the Yankees’ young righty Luis Severino.

Campos worked five innings allowing two runs on two hits while walking three and striking out an impressive nine batters; earning his first win of the season.

The T-Yanks’ bullpen was also quite solid as Dillon McNamara and Jacob Lindgren each pitched shutout innings. Jonathan Holder then pitched the eighth and ninth innings with no hits or runs allowed; striking out five of the six batters he faced.


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