FLORENCE, S.C. - Francis Marion University right-handed pitcher Philip Wilkins signed a minor league free agent contract with the Detroit Tigers this past weekend.
Wilkins, 21, is to report to the Tigers’ rookie league affiliate in Lakeland, Fla., on Tuesday. The Lakeland squad is a member of the north division of the Gulf Coast League, which is a week into its 60-game schedule.
He was signed by Tigers scout Bill Buck.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Wilkins. “I had attended several tryout camps and earned some interest, but it is all about getting a chance.”
A native of Winnsboro, Wilkins posted a 5-2 record with six saves and 3.72 earned run average as a member of the 2004 FMU squad. The 6-2 195-pound righty appeared in team-high 22 games and pitched 46 innings. He allowed only 33 hits, while walking 19 and striking out 53 batters. Opponents batted only .193 against him.
He helped lead the Patriots to a 29-17 record, a season-ending six-game winning streak, and a fifth-place finish in the Peach Belt Conference standings.
Wilkins, a product of Richard Winn Academy, spent three seasons at the College of Charleston before transferring to Francis Marion. With the Cougar program, he appeared in 18 games and registered an 0-3 record with 21 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched.
Three former Patriots are currently playing in the minor leagues: left-handed pitcher Hal Chafey and third baseman Wilson Burwell with the Florence Freedom of the independent Frontier League and right-handed pitcher Sam Greco with the San Angelo Colts of the independent Central Baseball League.