Left Field Career UZR/150: 17.8
Center Field Career UZR/150: 11.5
Right Field Career UZR/150: 25.2
Blocked by defensive wizard Kevin Kiermaier in center field in Tampa Bay, Mahtook could have center field all to himself in the Motor City until Jones is ready.
The 27-year-old was solid defensively in center field last season for the Rays. In 164 innings, the outfielder posted a DRS of 2 to go along with a 1.3 UZR and a 10.5 UZR/150.
Should he continue to post encouraging defensive stats, Mahtook would give Detroit a strong defense up the middle.
Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler remains one of baseball’s best double-play duos. Elsewhere, James McCann is developing into one of the elite defensive backstops in the league.
It is also worth pointing out that, according to Spotrac, Mahtook is controllable through 2021. He isn’t arbitration eligible for two more seasons.
His ability to play all three outfield positions could help him stick in Detroit long-term, even if he isn’t a full-time starter in center field.
With Jones likely to start regularly in the Majors sooner rather than later, Mahtook could eventually transition into a role as the team’s fourth outfielder.
Considering his ability to contribute on offensively, defensively and on the base paths, the Detroit Tigers may have added a potential long-term contributor.