Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: More speed and better baserunning in 2018?

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 2: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers dives into second base to beat the tag from second baseman Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians for a double during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on September 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 2: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers dives into second base to beat the tag from second baseman Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians for a double during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on September 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 04: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers steals second base in the 6th inning as Tyler Saladino #20 of the Chicago White Sox waits for the throw during the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 4, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 6-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 04: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers steals second base in the 6th inning as Tyler Saladino #20 of the Chicago White Sox waits for the throw during the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 4, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 6-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Dixon Machado

Dixon Machado is one of the fastest players on the Tigers and had a sprint speed of 27.3 ft.sec in 2017. Machado needs some work on his baserunning however, with a career -2.1 BsR in a small sample size in the major leagues. He does have 129 career stolen bases between the minors and majors. His speed translates well into his good defense, giving him decent range.

JaCoby Jones

Of course, there is the very athletic and very aggravating JaCoby Jones. Aggravating in the fact that he strikes out way too much and has not produced much with the bat. However, he can play multiple positions, he is a possible Gold Glove candidate, and he is possibly the fastest player on the Detroit Tigers. His sprint speed in 2017, albeit a small sample size, was 28.6 ft./sec which ranked 52nd in the MLB.

Only one Detroit Tigers ranked ahead of him and this could possibly be a fluke, but Jim Adduci ranked 31st with a 28.8 ft./sec sprint speed. While Adduci does have a bit of speed with a Spd rating of 6.2 on the Tigers in 2017 and generally is considered a decent baserunner, Jones is younger and built more for speed than Adduci is. Jones probably will not make the opening day roster, but on a rebuilding team, he is bound to get his fair share of opportunity.

Victor Reyes

Victor Reyes is another speedy guy on the Detroit Tigers roster and in their outfield. Reyes was the first overall seclection in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, being taken from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is known for his contact orientated approach with little power. Reyes is also known for his speed. He has 80 career stolen bases and in 2016 racked up 12 triples. He is a switch-hitter and since he will be batting from the left side most days, he can also run out of the batter’s box quicker.

According to Fangraphs, he has been worth +2wSB, or runs contributed by stealing bases and an average Spd (Speed Score) of around 5.5, which is above average. Look for Reyes to come off the bench late in the game to be a pinch runner.

Next: Predicting the 2018 Outfield

The Detroit Tigers are still not a base stealing team, but expect a few more stolen bases then in years past. Teams always have a need for speed, you cannot win every game with a home run. Sometimes, a team needs to create offense and by bunting and stealing. It is always nice to have a happy medium of power and speed. The Tigers seem to be trending in that direction.

The Detroit Tigers baserunning should be much improved. The Tigers have been one of the major’s WORST baserunning teams the last few seasons. This should be, and needs to be, quelled with the new coaching staff.

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