Oct 13, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) hits a double during the second inning in game two of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Miguel Cabrera isn’t quite the Cabrera of old and Prince Fielder has really yet to hit for extra bases (just one double in the postseason), but the heart of the Detroit Tigers batting order is giving the team plenty of production as a unit.
Here’s a chart with the postseason batting lines of a few key players compared to their regular season batting lines:
So yeah, Miggy and Prince haven’t been up to their usual destruction levels this October, but with respective wRC+ numbers of 108 and 102, they haven’t been completely useless either. But other than those two guys just being slightly above average, the usual five-thru-seven hitters have been fantastic.
Including the seven hitter in the “heart of the order” is a stretch, but no matter how you want to define it, the above group of hitters are outperforming their seasonal lines.
Cabrera-Fielder-Martinez combined to hit for a .351 wOBA during the regular season, but the trio (thanks mostly to Victor) is hitting for a .376 wOBA in the playoffs. Adding Peralta to the mix gives a postseason wOBA of .403 compared to .352 in the regular season. And adding Avila on the end gives a .389 wOBA compared to .347 in the regular season.
The offense still isn’t clicking as a whole – Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter (.121 wOBA and .172 wOBA respecitvely) are particularly drawing the scorn of the fan base, but, unlike what we saw through the first several games of the ALDS, several hitters are now finding their grooves.
What does this mean going forward? Unfortunately not much if the rest of the offense can’t get things together, but for now the “entire team can’t hit” narrative that has existed since the Miami series has been kicked to the curb. This is really the first time all month that we can sit here feeling good about a sizable portion of the offense. It might not carry much in the way of predictive value going forward, but, given the option, I’d rather have the offense trending up than trending down.