Troy Stokes Jr. sat down with us to discuss his success in Spring Training, his time with the organization, and his outlook for the 2020 season.
Most baseball players’ goals include play in big leagues, and an outfielder that the Detroit Tigers claimed off waivers last September has those same ambitions as well. His name is Troy Stokes Jr. who previously played for the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
“Alright, I know what I can do like I’m good baseball player and I’m just going to play how Troy knows how to play,” said Stokes Jr. in an interview with A Big Den For Cats.
This was in response to the question of what his main focus points were during Spring Training. It definitely shows that as a player he doesn’t try and leave his comfort zone to impress his spectators. A quality like this for such a young athlete is something that goes very under-looked in the way that many players will apply unneeded pressure on themselves when they get an opportunity like Stokes Jr. had. Some players fall victim to that and then see their play decline, but Stokes Jr.’s mentality doesn’t get fazed.
“Definitely my goal was to break camp,” said Stokes Jr. “Just come in play my game, play hard, and just ball out.”
It was very easy to tell that this mindset helped him tremendously. The 24-year-old played in eleven games this Spring and had a slash line of .273/.360/.500, while also leading the Tigers in doubles with five. With those numbers through Spring, he was well on his way to prove that he can play at the next level until the abrupt stop.
Stokes Jr. showed that he has gap to gap power and above average speed, two of the most useful attributes for an outfielder to possess. Despite that, he recognizes that, although he has skill on the field, he still has a significant area to improve on.
“I want to try and keep my peaks and valleys not as steep”, said Stokes Jr. Consistency is everything for a baseball player because as we know slumps happen, but the great players are the ones who do it on a day to day basis. Therefore, if he can be persistent with Toledo then there’s a good chance that he’ll be with the Tigers sooner rather than later.
“He wants us to learn because it’s a young team”, said Stokes Jr. of Cameron Maybin. If there was any outfielder on this Tigers roster to learn from it would be Maybin – he’s been in the game since 2007 and has experienced just about everything.
Although Stokes Jr. was optioned to the minor leagues to open the 2020 campaign, but a number of scenarios could create an opportunity for Stokes Jr. The Tigers will likely open with four of Maybin, JaCoby Jones, Victor Reyes, Christin Stewart, and Travis Demeritte. If any of them open the season in a slump or somehow land on the injured list, Stokes Jr. will be among those first in line to be called up. When he comes to the majors, though, it will be on his own merit.