Detroit Tigers: Winners and losers from the 2017 season
Winner: Jeimer Candelario
The Detroit Tigers performance in September 2017 was unequivocally bad. Just bad. Whatever synonym you want to use, it wasn’t great.
A -76 run differential and just six total wins will do that for you.
While the team was unequivocally bad, one thing that was unequivocally good was the emergence of Jeimer Candelario at third base.
Taking over for Nicholas Castellanos at the hot corner, Candelario established himself as the third baseman for long haul, not to mention a presence in the middle of Detroit’s lineup.
The ex-Cub hit .330 with a .406 on-base percentage, a .468 slugging percentage, a .379 wOBA and a 137 wRC+.
Candelario probably isn’t going to perform at that level offensively as his .392 BABIP seems a bit unsustainable.
Still, his offensive showing was extremely encouraging, as was his eye at the dish. The third baseman logged an 11.3 walk rate while striking out just 17 percent of the time.
While Candelario didn’t play Gold-Glove caliber defense down the stretch, he seemed to be a significant upgrade over Castellanos in a smaller sample size.
Candelario 2017 defensive stats at third: -1.6 defensive runs above average, -7 DRS, -19.0 UZR/150.
Castellanos 2017 defensive stats at third: -5.9 defensive runs above average, -14 DRS, -7.8 UZR/150.
Any kind of additional improvement from Candelario at the plate and in the field will only benefit the Detroit Tigers down the line.
It will be worth watching to see what he can do with a full season’s worth of plate appearances in the Majors next year.