Detroit Tigers: Winners and losers from the 2017 season
Loser: Tyler Collins
On the flip side of Mahtook establishing himself as an outfield solution was Tyler Collins.
The corner outfielder has showed glimpses of being able to contribute with a blend of power and speed in the past, but he couldn’t put it all together in 2017.
In 169 plate appearances, Collins turned in a .278 on-base percentage, a 62 wRC+, a 32.5 strikeout percentage and a -0.2 WAR.
The former sixth-round pick was actually an above-average defender from a metrics standpoint in center field last season.
Collins played in 199.2 innings in center field for the Tigers in 2017, registering a 19.4 UZR/150 and a +4 DRS.
For a Tigers team that struggled to find defensive solutions in the outfield, even that wasn’t enough to save the out-of-options Collins.
He was designated for assignment and passed up on the organizational depth chart by the likes of Mahtook, Nicholas Castellanos, JaCoby Jones, Alex Presley, and Jim Adduci.
Utility ace Andrew Romine saw increased playing time in the outfield as well.
While Collins was brought back up to the roster in September when the team needed an extra outfielder due to injuries, he may find it difficult to hang on to a 40-man roster spot long-term.
Things could obviously change if he produces a the plate in 2018, but top outfield prospects Christin Stewart and Mike Gerber will likely debut with the team at some point next season.
The team will need to make room for the duo and alleviate the log jam in the outfield grass.