Detroit Tigers: 3 players playing better than their numbers suggest
Some Detroit Tigers are off to good starts but don't have the numbers to show it
The Detroit Tigers are off to a terrible start as a team. They are 2-8 as of this writing and just look downright awful. But there are a few players that are off to a good starts, though it may not look like it if you looked at their stats.
Most of the lineup is off to a horrible start, but there a few players that have put up some good at-bats without a lot to show for it. Likewise, some pitchers have been decent despite some rough surface numbers.
We've spent a lot of time on the negatives recently, so today we're going to focus on the few positives this team has had to start the year. Here are three Detroit Tigers that are playing better than their numbers suggest.
OF Kerry Carpenter
Carpenter barely made the Opening Day roster over Akil Baddoo in a battle that quite literally went down to the wire. The Tigers appeared to like what Carpenter can offer with the bat over Baddoo's ability to wreak havoc. So far, it looks like they made the right choice, though Baddoo ended up in Detroit not long after the fact after Austin Meadows stepped away from the team again to focus on his mental health.
Carpenter's surface numbers aren't very impressive. He's slashing .227/.346/.364 with no homers and a 106 wRC+. That last stat is above average, and there's a reason for that. Through 26 plate appearances, he had a walk rate of 15.6%. That's in the 85th percentile according to Baseball Savant. There's still some swing-and-miss and he still strikes out quite a bit, but the walks are very encouraging.
He's also crushing the baseball. He's in the 99th percentile in barrel rate and 77th percentile in hard-hit rate. So why are the surface numbers so low? Well, he's gotten pretty unlucky, and nowhere was that more apparent than Tuesday night's game against the Blue Jays.
He had over 800 feet worth of outs in that game. He had two flyballs to the wall—one of them was robbed by Jays' CF Kevin Kiermaier, and the other just died at the wall. Tough luck, but he did everything right.
As long as Carpenter continues to trust his process, he should be fine. I wouldn't expect that walk rate to hold up, but even if he ends up around league average (roughly 8.2%) I would call that a win. The Tigers need any positive development they can get right now, and Carpenter looks like he's picking up where he left off from a year ago.