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Tiger Train delivers O'Loughlin Class A debut
18-year-old pitcher bypasses rookie league start
06/19/2018 11:19 AM ET
Time to shine - Jack O'Loughlin will make his Class A debut in the USA.
Time to shine - Jack O'Loughlin will make his Class A debut in the USA. (James Worsfold/SMP Images/ABL Media)

It's been a long, long wait after Jack O'Loughlin signed with the Detroit Tigers organisation as a 16-year-old, but finally the state's top pitching prospect will take to the mound in a surprise debut at Class-A Connecticut Tigers.

"Arriving and playing during Spring Training was amazing. It was something that I have been looking forward to for a long time, ever since I first signed my contract with the Tigers," O'Loughlin said.

Carrying over 60 innings worth of professional baseball experience, O'Loughlin will be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder (or maybe a shoulder above some…) with some of his more experienced teammates.

The Connecticut team will be an intriguing one with their coaching staff, led by Gary Cathcart, initially expecting to lead the Gulf Coast Tigers rookie league team. But with their sudden move north, O'Loughlin followed. Sam McMillan, a 2017 5th Round draft pick out of high school, is another bright prospect.

Despite being the youngest player on the team - and only player born in the 2000s - O'Loughlin feels prepared to pitch alongside anyone thanks to his ABL past.

"I do believe having that exposure in the Adelaide Bite and ABL has helped with this situation," he said.

"Playing alongside new teammates is very awesome. It was good that I have met most of them during Spring Training and extended, though."

Spring Training in Florida saw O'Loughlin experience some of the best facilities MLB has to offer with pitching fitness a new focus.

"I was in the gym two, maybe three times per week and my early focus has been staying healthy," O'Loughlin said.

"The Tigers work on staying healthy, fit and in shape as much as possible."

The Tigers will play a competitive 76-game schedule through to September in the New York-Penn League. For all updates on O'Loughlin, stay tuned to the Bite channels!

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.