Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Báez aiming to improve.
The Detroit Tigers are busy planning their 2024 roster, working through the off-season. The stove continues to heat up, and the focus remains on roster construction for the time being. One thing no one is batting an eye to right now is the current players who will be returning.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Báez is at a point where he needs to improve. The 30-year-old did not opt out and instead stayed put with the Tigers' organization. With that in mind, things need to improve, and Detroit needs to expect more from him on his $24 million contract.
Báez has been with the Tigers for the last two seasons but has yet to be the player that the Tigers were hoping for. Sure, he has shown flashes, but he has not entirely been the player the Tigers were expecting to get.
Even if it was an Al Avila contract, Scott Harris and the company had to embrace the hand they were dealt. I know I am more of a critic of Báez than a fan myself, but he has to find a way to improve things. But the good news is that Báez is trying to make that happen.
In 2023, Báez played in 136 games, accumulating 547 at-bats. He slashed .222/.267/.325 with 18 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He drove in 59 runs as well. Báez walked just 24 times while striking out 125 times for the Tigers in 2023.
With that in mind, Báez is working to try to improve things with his performance. He's staying in the States rather than returning to Puerto Rico this winter to train and prepare for the 2024 season. The goal seemingly is for Báez to try and strengthen himself to become a better hitter, showing more of the hitter he was during his time with the Cubs.
Báez wants to strengthen himself and be a better hitter overall, focusing on tapping into the power and showing some more juice. In two seasons with the Tigers, Báez has just 26 home runs. While the Detroit Tigers made changes to the fences, bringing them in, Báez has not been the same hitter he was in past seasons, especially during his time with the Cubs.
The Tigers have to be hopeful that he can come back out in 2024 and be a better hitter and overall player than he has been in the past couple of seasons. He has four years left on his contract; hopefully, Báez can improve from where he was in the past.