Detroit Tigers: Three Reasons Why Tigers Will Make Playoffs in 2017

Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) is lifted in to the air by second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) after scoring the winning run against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) is lifted in to the air by second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) after scoring the winning run against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Detroit Tigers
Sep 5, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8), second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) and right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) celebrate his three-run home run in the eleventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

Consistent Offense

Injuries happen to every Major League team every season, but the Detroit Tigers were hit particularly hard by the injury bug in 2016.

J.D. Martinez (120 games played), Nick Castellanos (110 games played) and Cameron Maybin (94 games played) all missed significant time due to injuries.

It is hard to say where the Tigers would have been had all three been healthy. However, it isn’t a stretch to say they would posted a much higher win total.

In terms of right fielders with a minimum of 500 plate appearances, Martinez ranked second in wRC+ at 142. That was a higher rate than the likes of Mookie Betts, George Springer, Mark Trumbo, Bryce Harper, Carlos Gonzalez and Jose Bautista.

J.D. also led the way in on-base percentage and ranked second in batting average and slugging percentage. He was also seventh in ISO.

Castellanos, who logged 447 plate appearances this season, fared well against fellow players at his position with at least 400 trips to the plate. Castellanos ranked 11th in wRC+ and 12th in batting average. The 2016 season served as a breakout campaign for the Tigers third baseman. Should he build on it next season, he’ll be well on his way to becoming the middle-of-the-order bat many thought he would be.

Rounding out the trio is Maybin, who was one of baseball’s best offensive center fielders when active.

Of all center fielders with 350 plate appearances, Maybin posted the third-highest on-base percentage and the seventh-highest wRC+ in the league.