The Detroit Tigers Need an Outfield Reboot
In 97 plate appearances, Robbie Grossman has produced the odd slash line of a much higher OBP than slugging percentage, contributing a .208/.361/.325 101 OPS+ to the Tigers offense. He walks and walks and walks but that’s about all that can be said for positivity at the plate. He currently has 17 walks and just 5 extra-base hits. He is striking out at a 25.8% clip which is up 6% from 2020 and 8% from the full campaign of 2019. I would ideally like to see him as the 4th outfielder on a real team, but for the 2021 Tigers, he is in no danger of losing his position or playing time. He will keep drawing walks at the top of the lineup and we wait until the improvement comes swinging the stick. Looking at his Statcast Numbers, with his hard hit and sweet spot percentages there is reason to believe his numbers should improve and move closer towards his 2020 production which featured his career-best 130 OPS+.
He is the only outfielder on the current 26 who isn’t going to see any change in playing time barring an absolute collapse. Grossman is a pro, give him time and he will raise the batting average and slugging percentage. He isn’t a world-beater but for 5 million dollars a year that was never the expectation. He should be an average player by the time it is all said and done this season.