Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Travis Jankowski an Ideal Trade Target to Improve Speed, Defense

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Jun 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Travis Jankowski (L)) scores past Cincinnati Reds catcher Ramon Cabrera (R) during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Travis Jankowski (L)) scores past Cincinnati Reds catcher Ramon Cabrera (R) during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Sep 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) and left fielder Justin Upton (8) and center fielder Cameron Maybin (4) celebrate a victory against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Tigers defeated the Braves 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila needs to improve the team’s speed and defense this offseason. One way Detroit could help accomplish this would be to acquire Travis Jankowski.

Detroit Tigers outfielders enjoyed a particularly solid campaign during the 2016 season.

Of all outfielders with at least 500 plate appearances, J.D. Martinez finished fourth among all outfielders in wRC+.

Justin Upton struggled in the first half of the season, but promptly started to tear the cover off the ball in the second half. That run included 18 home runs in his final 37 contests.

Last but not least, Cameron Maybin returned to the Motor City and established himself as one of the premier table-setters in the league thanks to a .383 on-base percentage, 65 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in just 94 games.

Despite the presence of the trio, Detroit could use more speed and defense to improve the team.

Maybin is obviously a threat to steal, and while Upton and Martinez have enough speed to steal a base here and there, they aren’t exactly speed merchants. Additionally, neither of the three players graded out well in UZR.

It is a real possibility that all three return to the Tigers next season, however the team still has to improve on the base paths and in the field. One player who could help in both areas is Travis Jankowski.

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