Detroit Tigers: Three Players Who Could Improve Bench

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Aug 5, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Andrew Romine (27) and center fielder Anthony Gose (12) celebrate after the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Detroit won 2-1.Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 5, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Andrew Romine (27) and center fielder Anthony Gose (12) celebrate after the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Detroit won 2-1.Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 5, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Ackley (29) catches a fly ball in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Ackley (29) catches a fly ball in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Dustin Ackley INF/OF, New York Yankees

Like Gordon Beckham, Dustin Ackley is a former first-round pick who plays multiple positions. Like Gordon Beckham, Dustin Ackley could help the Detroit Tigers.

The next player taken after Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft, Ackley flashed the potential to be a .300-type hitter at the Major League level. He got off to a strong start in his rookie year, hitting .273 with 16 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, six stolen bases and 36 RBI in just 90 games.

However, Ackley failed to improve upon that with the team that drafted him, the Seattle Mariners. Seattle moved him around the diamond, from second base to the outfield. This probably didn’t help his development, but what it did was make him a versatile defender.

The 28-year-old can start at first base, second base and at all three outfield positions.

While the former Mariner’s defensive flexibility is valuable, his hitting hasn’t been so this season. In 48 plate appearances, Ackley is batting just .125 with a .375 OPS. While those numbers aren’t the most encouraging, the utility player does have seven walks compared to just five strikeouts. The former second-overall pick also hit .288 down the stretch for New York last season. In other words, he’s much better than his current from suggests.

If the Yankees continue to struggle this season, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the team offload some assets.

Given his current production, a lower-level prospect would seem about right in terms of a return.

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