Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: 5 Notable Stats from Fangraph’s 2019 Steamer Projections

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TORONTO, ON - JUNE 30: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers cannot come up with an infield single hit by Devon Travis #29 of the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on June 30, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 30: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers cannot come up with an infield single hit by Devon Travis #29 of the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on June 30, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 9: Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez #60 of the Detroit Tigers throws out Paul DeJong #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals at first base as second base umpire Tony Randazzo looks on during the second inning at Comerica Park on September 9, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Ronny Rodriguez – 14 home runs, 11 stolen bases

Personally, I don’t think Ronny Rodriguez will be Detroit’s starting shortstop in 2019. I believe the team will peruse the free agent market, potentially even bringing back Jose Iglesias on a one-year deal. However, if the Tigers do go into 2019 with Ronny Rodriguez as their primary shortstop, steamer actually projects decent production from the 26-year-old.

Steamer gives Rodriguez, over 541 plate appearances, 14 home runs, 11 stolen bases, 61 RBI and a .259/.293/.410 slash line. That would equal a 89 wRC+ and a 1.1 fWAR, both big steps forward from the 58 wRC+ and -1.0 fWAR from his brief 2018 cameo.

The jump in batting average is primarily because of Rodriguez’s ghastly .253 BABIP from last season, which will surely regulate to some degree in 2019. The 4.3% walk rate and 19.8% strikeout rate are not too far off from what he actually posted last season, so it does make sense that he’d see a major uptick in his slash line.

However, I think it’s rather bold to project 14/11 from Rodriguez after he managed just five home runs and two steals in 206 plate appearances last season.

Ultimately, Rodriguez’s value will be tied to his role – if he is the starting shortstop, perhaps double-digit HR/SB is possible. If he’s a utility infielder, probably not.

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