Detroit Tigers 2017 season: winners and losers so far
By Ben Rosener
Winner: Justin Upton
Throughout his career, Justin Upton has shown the ability to go on hot streaks that can carry a team.
Detroit Tigers fans saw this up close in 2016 when Upton went on a tear in the second half of the season.
The outfielder mashed 18 home runs in his final 37 games, driving in 41 runs in the process. Those long balls helped Detroit claim 22 wins over the same period as the team stayed in the thick of the wild card race.
While that hot streak was excellent for the Tigers, the team also saw Upton bat just .239 with a .289 on-base percentage in the first half of the season.
Thankfully, Detroit fans have seen a Justin Upton that more closely resembles the player who destroyed opposing pitchers down the stretch.
The veteran is batting .262 with a .377 on-base percentage and a .515 slugging percentage.
Upton also owns a 145 wRC+, a .250 ISO and a .381 wOBA. He currently paces the team with seven home runs and a 1.0 WAR.
Shortstop Jose Iglesias and the outfielder are currently tied for the team lead with three stolen bases.
Upton’s play has been particularly key to the Tigers with J.D. Martinez and Cabrera both missing time. If he continues to perform at a high level, Detroit will be in an excellent position to return to the playoffs.