"I got a lot of skills. nunchucking skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills."
Hopefully you recognize that as a line from Napoleon Dynamite. When asked what pitching prospects were flying under the radar a bit for the Tigers, he answered Jared Gayhart, Robbie Weinhardt, and Luke Putkonen. JAYRC gave us a nice look at Robbie Weinhardt, but I didn't know much about Luke Putkonen.
Putkonen (solidarity: a fellow Finn) went to school at North Carolina. He pitched in the 2007 College World Series championship (which North Carolina lost to Oregon State 9-3). He played Rookie Ball in 2007, spent 2008 at Oneonta, and last year he pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps. He's a 6'6" 23-year old righty. In 2009, Putkonen pitched 149 innings, made 28 starts, had a 3.13 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, had one complete game, 6.93 K/9, 2.83 BB/9, .321 BABIP (Fangraphs). Fangraphs also stated that Putkonen is sinkerballer who was not known for the movement on his fastball at North Carolina.
Putkonen pitched well down the stretch last year. In his last four starts before the playoffs, he allowed only two earned runs (Mlive.com).