Detroit Tigers: Simply put, right field defense wasn’t good in 2017
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers right fielders didn’t have the best year from a defensive standpoint in 2017. Whether the defense improves remains to be seen, but the overall product wasn’t great last season.
Detroit Tigers fans have seen some outstanding offensive production from right outfielders in seasons past.
While the likes of Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes have manned left field, right fielders have had much more of an impact at the plate for the Tigers.
Magglio Ordonez, Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez have provided some excellent offense, however they didn’t exactly win Gold Gloves toward the end of their tenures in the Motor City.
Ordonez had a DRS of -6 or worse in five of his last six seasons in the Majors, while Hunter had UZR/150 stats of -5.1 and -20.1 respectively in his two years with Detroit.
Martinez showed initial promise in right field with a +4 DRS and a 8.0 UZR/150 in his first season at the position with the Tigers (he started in left field in 2014).
However, he could never quite recapture that kind of defensive form.
In 2016 his DRS checked in at -22, while his UZR/150 was -21.5 in 1027.1 defensive innings of work.
The 2017 campaign wasn’t quite as much of a struggle for the veteran.
In an admittedly smaller sample size of 438 innings, Martinez had a -6 DRS, a -16.4 UZR/150 and a -7.8 defensive runs above average stat.
The slugger’s defensive struggles were largely a sign of things to come for the Tigers in right field from a defensive standpoint.