A minor adjustment may be the saving grace for this Detroit Tigers rookie

Infielder Colt Keith had a rough start to the year. He pulled off a minor tweak to his swing, and it has paid dividends thus far.
Colt Keith and Spencer Torkelson communicate in a game against the Houston Astros
Colt Keith and Spencer Torkelson communicate in a game against the Houston Astros / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

This offseason, the Detroit Tigers invested in the future by signing infielder Colt Keith to a long-term extension in a deal to solidify his presence in Detroit for the next six years. He went on to win the battle of second base in spring training, beating out Andy Ibanez for the everyday role.

The start of the year has been a struggle for Keith, however. It's been so bad that fans began to question if he should go back to Toledo to refine his swing.

Colt Keith has been very unlucky for the Detroit Tigers this season, and his adjustments have tried to turn the tide on his season.

Up to this point of the season, the 22-year-old is hitting just .175 with an OPS of .442. To say that isn't the start Keith had dreamed of would be an understatement. Something had to change.

In a story Tigers broadcaster Jason Benetti told during Monday's game, he asked Keith if there were any adjustments he had made at any point during the year. Keith pointed out one specific moment: In a game in Cleveland, he felt his timing at the plate was off, and mid at-bat decided to change from a higher leg kick to a smaller toe tap. Keith had featured the higher leg kick throughout the beginning of the year, and he knew it wasn't working. In the at-bat he made the switch, he reached safely with a base hit.

Since then, although the results have not been drastically different, there is a definite difference in his exit velocity and contact quality. Keith has been hitting the ball hard over the past couple of weeks and nearly had his first MLB home run off of Tigers legend Justin Verlander this weekend. It isn't only the eye test that says that Keith has been unlucky this year.

He entered the game leading MLB in the slugging average minus expected slugging average statistic. Expected slugging percentage (xSLG) is based on the contact quality instead of the result. Keith sits at a .204 SLG, while his xSLG is .398, a whopping -.194 point difference.

That tells us that he's been largely unlucky to start the season.

It is only a matter of time before the young man finds real success and hits the green more often. Over the last seven games, Colt has hit .278 with three runs scored and three RBI. The results are starting to come.

Hopefully, he keeps that up because the Tigers could use a top-of-the-order bat as the offense continues to struggle. Baseball is a game of adjustments, and the fact that a simple, mid-at-bat adjustment has created success for Colt Keith shows that anything can happen in baseball.