Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Mikie Mahtook is providing excellent value in center field

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Jun 27, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) receives congratulations from center fielder Mikie Mahtook (15) after he hits a three run home run in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) receives congratulations from center fielder Mikie Mahtook (15) after he hits a three run home run in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Jun 25, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Mikie Mahtook (15) hits a two RBI single during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers center fielder Mikie Mahtook got off to a slow start to begin the season, but he’s starting to turn things around and provide excellent value for Al Avila and company in the process.

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila made just a handful of major moves in the offseason.

He shipped Cameron Maybin to Anaheim to save some cash, signed Alex Avila to pair with James McCann and snagged Daniel Stumpf in the Rule 5 draft.

Al Avila also traded for Mikie Mahtook.

At first glance, things don’t look great.

Mahtook’s on-base percentage on the year sits at a paltry .282. He’s also the owner of a 0.1 WAR.

All this for a player Detroit acquired by relinquishing an intriguing, power relief prospect in Drew Smith (who we here at Motor City Bengals ranked as the team’s 10th-best prospect heading into 2017).

However, much of Mahtook’s overall numbers are due to the slow start he got off to at the dish.

In his first 42 plate appearances with the Tigers, Mahtook registered just seven hits, four runs scored, five RBI, three walks, two doubles and a home run. He also struck out 13 times in the plate appearances, which spanned 17 games.

Since that game, things have gone much better for the former first-round pick.

Mahtook is hitting .295 with a .820 OPS since, and has been particularly effective in the last 30 days.

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