Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Internal center field candidates as it stands for 2018

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving attempt but was unable to catch a hit by Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning during of their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving attempt but was unable to catch a hit by Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning during of their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 04: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers catches a fly ball hit by Jonathan Schoop #6 of the Baltimore Orioles (not pictured) in the eighth inning during a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Mikie Mahtook

Easily the best all-around option currently at the Detroit Tigers disposal, Mahtook has some five-tool potential.

He hit .276 with a .330 on-base percentage, a .457 slugging percentage, a .335 wOBA, a 107 wRC+ and a .181 ISO in 379 plate appearances last season.

The former Rays player also tacked on 50 runs scored, 38 RBI, 12 home runs and six stolen bases.

In a somewhat similar vein to Jones, it’s easy to get excited about Mahtook’s offensive production given a full season of at-bats.

Of the players mentioned in this list, Mahtook seems the most assured of consistent playing time in 2018. He could start in center field or at another outfield spot.

The 27-year-old was also Detroit’s best base runner last season with a 3.2 BsR.

Alex Presley/Andrew Romine/Tyler Collins

Given Mahtook and Nicholas Castellanos’ established places in the outfield mix—not to mention the presence of Jones and perhaps prospects like Gerber and Christin Stewart—Detroit could be staring at a bit of a log jam in the outfield.

If that is the case, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team offload veterans like Presley, Romine and Collins in the offseason considering the trio don’t exactly fit with the franchise’s rebuilding outlook.

Next: Can the Tigers' base running improve in 2018?

That being said, if the Tigers decide to keep the trio, one of them could share time with Jones or Gerber in center field.

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