Detroit Tigers: More speed and better baserunning in 2018?

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SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 15: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners jumps up after being tagged out while trying to steal second base by shortstop Tim Beckham #1 of the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning of a game at Safeco Field on August 15, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 3-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Leonys Martin

The new center fielder, Leonys Martin, is considered a very valuable baserunner. He was signed to a 1-year, $1.75 million deal this winter.  He is expected to be the starting centerfielder while JaCoby Jones gets minor league seasoning. Martin has 115 career stolen bases in 151 attempts and has a career 22.4 BsR rating.

His Spd (Speed Score) on Fangraphs is 6.9, where 7.0 is considered excellent. His career wSB (Weighted Stolen Base Runs), which determines how many runs his stolen bases created, is an astounding 7.4! With the Tigers rebuilding, Martin’s BsR and wSB numbers are sure to provide help in an area that needs improvement in the Motor City.

Jose Iglesias

Jose Iglesias is known for his sterling defense. He is actually a decently fast runner as well. According to Fangraphs, he was worth 2.6 BsR in 2017 and 1.8 in 2016. However, he has a career BsR of -2.0 due to a horrible 2015 that saw him post a -5.8 BsR. That poor BsR rating was probably due to him missing all of 2014 with shin splints and possibly dealing with them in 2015. Iglesias has not stolen many bases in his career, but according to Statcast, his sprint speed is 28.0 ft/sec which is above average. Iglesias also has a career Spd rating of 4.3, which is right around league average.

Mikie Mahtook

Mikie Mahtook, who was a pleasant surprise in 2017 and will likely be the starting left fielder in 2018, was worth over 3 BsR as previously mentioned. He also ranked in the Top 100 for Statcast’s sprint speed at 28.4 ft./sec and a Spd rating of 5.8 which is just above average. Mahtook is not a burner on the basepaths, but he could surpass double digits. He will not steal 20 bases in a season, but between 10-12 stolen bases is not far out of the question.

No other veteran player on the Detroit Tigers in 2017 had a positive BsR rating. They also are all below average in the Spd category. The slowest player from 2017, Victor Martinez, had a Spd rating of only 0.9 which is well below average. Hopefully V-Mart’s bat and clubhouse presence both make a good turnaround in 2018.

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