Detroit Tigers: More speed and better baserunning in 2018?
The Detroit Tigers have not been known as a base stealing team in a long time. In 2018, the first year of their full-scale rebuild, they have a manager who is willing to run and several players with decent speed.
In 2017 the Detroit Tigers had a -19.1 BsR (according to Fangraphs) meaning that poor base running cost the team 19 runs. The Detroit Tigers also only stole 65 bases in all of 2017. Only two players reached double digit stolen base numbers last season. Ian Kinsler led the team with 14 and Justin Upton added 10.
Mikie Mahtook was the best baserunner on the Tigers in 2017, being worth over 3 runs on the bases. Conversely, Miguel Cabrera was worth -8.1. Cabrera, however, is usually a strong baserunner and his injury probably had something to do with his poor numbers.
There were only six Detroit Tigers in 2017 to have a positive BsR, and only three will be back in 2018. One player, cather and first baseman John Hicks, was neutral at 0.0.
With a new coaching staff, a small-ball style manager, and faster, younger players the Tigers baserunning should be much improved. Below are a few reasons why: