Detroit Tigers: Three Reasons Why Tigers Will Make Playoffs in 2017
Justin Upton Not Going Through a Significant Slump
All told, Justin Upton’s 87 RBI, 81 runs scored, 31 home runs, 28 doubles and nine stolen bases represent a solid initial return on the investment Detroit made when the team signed him to a long-term contract. However, despite those numbers, the outfielder still struck out 179 times and hit .246.
Much of this was due to a horrendous early season slump that saw him post a .590 OPS and register more strikeouts (72) than extra-base hits and walks combined (26) in 48 games.
That slumped did weigh his numbers down compared to the rest of the league. Upton finished 10th in ISO, 12th in wRC+, 13th in wOBA and 16th among all qualified left fielders in on-base percentage.
While Upton’s campaign was saved by a torrid finish to the season, the reality is that he isn’t going to go through another slump of that magnitude. Expect him to be consistently productive all season. That in itself should help Detroit’s offense tremendously next season.
With the veteran hitting sixth and Castellanos batting behind him, Detroit will have one of the most fearsome lineup in baseball. They certainly are dangerous from the leadoff spot to the seventh spot.
Next: Potential 40-Man Roster Losses
Having a consistent Upton in the batting order should help the Tigers finish near the top of the league in numerous offensive categories—not to mention return to the postseason.