Detroit Tigers: 2021 first half grades. There is progress

Tigers manager AJ Hinch takes out pitcher Casey Mize during the Tigers' 6-2 loss to the Royals on Friday, April 23, 2021, at Comerica Park.Tigers Kc1
Tigers manager AJ Hinch takes out pitcher Casey Mize during the Tigers' 6-2 loss to the Royals on Friday, April 23, 2021, at Comerica Park.Tigers Kc1 /
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Detroit Tigers
Jul 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) runs to second base in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers Outfield: C+

As a collective, the Tigers are ranked 26th in fWAR but like the bullpen, there are several performances that make the Tigers outfield much more exciting this season. One is Akil Baddoo, a good combination of speed and making solid contact at the plate. The other is the power of Eric Haase, who has been playing left in addition to catching and has given the Tigers 13 home runs this season.

Robbie Grossman’s ability to generate walks and come up with the big clutch hit has made him one of the better free agent signings by the front office.

However, the defense has seen some lapses in time as Baddoo is still learning the position and during his time up in Detroit, Victor Reyes in centerfield was an adventure. Beyond those three names above, JaCoby Jones and Nomar Mazara did not provide much help consistently.

Will Jacob Robson get an opportunity down at some point? Who knows but despite the learning curve for Baddoo, he has been a player the Tigers can use as a cornerstone in the outfield for years to come.  The same question can be asked for Riley Greene, who has been mashing the ball well down in Erie.

Derek Hill, who is back with the team, showed off his glove impressively and was off to a good start before his injury. He will be a player to watch in the second half to see if he can continue to grow along with Daz Cameron.

Overall, they need to improve on a defense that has them ranked in 28th in Defensive Runs Saved at -15. But that hopefully will come soon.

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