Detroit Tigers players have the team in a good place. The team has been playing well as of late, and the run has been fueled by some under-the-radar acquisitions.
Detroit Tigers fans have seen the team’s usual mix of star players produce so far.
Elsewhere, Justin Upton is off to a strong start, with a 130 wRC+ and a .241 ISO—not to mention a team-leading eight home runs.
However, some of Detroit’s key contributors this season joined the organization in under-the-radar deals.
Sure, the big-money signings of Upton and Victor Martinez will steal all the headlines—so will the trades for established standouts like Ian Kinsler and Francisco Rodriguez—but the under-the-radar acquisitions remain as key players.
Most prominent among the group of players who joined Detroit in a low-key transaction is Alex Avila.
After spending a season in Chicago with the White Sox, the backstop returned to Detroit this past offseason.
More than a quarter of the way through the season, Detroit is certainly happy with the move.
Avila currently paces all Tigers players with a 1.5 WAR. He’s spent time at both catcher and first, registering some blistering offensive numbers in the process.
In 84 plate appearances, the veteran is batting .382 with a .500 on-base percentage and a .706 slugging percentage. He’s also turned in a .501 wOBA, a 226 wRC+ and a .324 ISO.
Avila’s production, which also includes 18 RBI, 14 walks, 12 extra-base hits and 11 runs scored, has helped offset slow starts from Victor Martinez and Nicholas Castellanos.