Detroit Tigers first half report cards

The first half of the season has come and gone, so how have the Detroit Tigers fared so far?
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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It may be hard to believe, but we are officially 81 games into the first half of the 2023 MLB season. That means we've reached the halfway point. That's crazy to think about, but here we are.

The halfway point only means one thing — it's report card time. It's time to take a look at how the Detroit Tigers have performed in key areas thus far.

From hitting, to pitching, to defense, to even the coaching staff and front office, we're going to look at how the team has performed so far. The overall team record sits at 35-46, so one would think the grades won't be kind, but the team has actually performed quite well in some areas.

Enough stalling. It's time to hand out some grades, starting with the offense.

Hitting — D

If I were to grade last year's offense, I would give it an F. They weren't good at anything. They didn't walk, they struck out way too much, and they didn't hit for any power. This year, while the overall run production still hasn't been there, there have been improvements on offense.

As of this writing, the Tigers currently sit at 17th in MLB with a walk rate of 8.7%. Last year, they were dead last with 6.5% walk rate. That's a significant improvement from a year ago. Scott Harris wants to dominate the strike zone, and this is a good start.

They're also hitting the ball much harder. They are 12th in MLB with team hard hit rate of 32.8%, compared to 26.1% a year ago, which was also dead last.

They're also hitting the ball on the ground less frequently than they were a year ago. They were 7th in the league with a 44.7% ground ball rate last year, but they're 15th with a 42.4% ground ball rate this season. Where they still need siginificant work is in the power department. They were dead last in the league in homers last year, and they're 28th this year. They have the second-worst team slugging percentage.

And lastly, we can't forget about how bad this team has been with runners in scoring position this season. They have improved slightly as of late, as they're up to .227 with RISP on the year, but that's still fourth-worst in the league. They have the second-worst average with the bases loaded this year at .169. One. Sixty. Nine. Only the Twins are worse. That's horrifically bad.

So at the end of the day, while they're certainly have been improvements from last year, this offense still has a long way to go. I think a D is pretty fair.