Detroit Tigers outfielder Kerry Carpenter keeps churning out homers.
While he may not be thought of for his glove, Kerry Carpenter is an outfielder the Detroit Tigers need to keep around. If not in the outfield, they must ensure that his bat stays in the lineup, finding ways to earmark at-bats for him. It's something they have done in 2023 and they must keep doing it.
He's been a consistent face in the Detroit Tigers lineup in 2023, outside of time spent rehabbing and recovering from a shoulder injury after crashing into the wall leaping to keep a ball from getting out. So this is not a gripe with A.J. Hinch over playing time for Carpenter, but rather a beating of the drum that he deserves to be kept around.
Carpenter is a former 19th-rounder out of Virginia Tech after playing some JuCo ball down in Florida with St. John's River CC. Carpenter played his way into a scholarship with the Hokies and ended up earning himself a chance at cracking the big leagues after being picked up by the Tigers in the 19th round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
He spent time in the Tigers farm system trying to keep progressing and developing, which has led to him hitting his way onto the Tigers roster. As mentioned, he's become a familiar face and lately, he's been churning out the home runs.
The left-handed hitter is able to drive the ball in the air with a swing that functions well to lift and leverage the ball. If you look at how Carpenter's hands work through the swing from start to finish, it's very conducive to launching balls.
And lately... he's been launching them. Carpenter has four home runs in his last five games, including a grand slam against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. It was a really nice pull-side shot into right-center field, clearing the fence to tie things up at four a side; here's the homer.
Carpenter really has been tapping into the longball, which is his schtick as a hitter, being able to elevate and certainly celebrate. He's played in 84 games for the Tigers this year, after missing some time with his shoulder injury, but has still managed to belt 20 homers.
MCB's own Matthew Scheidel recently wrote up a piece about who the last Tigers hitters to belt 30 home runs were as the team has tapped into some more power as of late. Carpenter needs just ten more bombs to get there.
With four in his last five games played, if he were to keep up a crazy pace like that, he'd be there in no time. Carpenter has hit .288/.352/.547 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 20 home runs for 54 RBI on the season. It's been quite the performance for Carpenter, who's settled in nicely.
The Tigers must keep hoping that Carpenter will continue tapping into this power. If hes able to keep launching balls, Hinch will have no choice but to find him a spot in the lineup day in and day out. It's got to be nice to see a former 19th-rounder finding this kind of success.
It certainly does not happen often, but Carpenter has been able to make the most of his time developing into a big leaguer and being able to be a productive piece of the puzzle in Detroit. Nicknamed Kerry Bonds, hopefully, he continues to live up to the hype and continue to carve out a niche role with this Tigers ballclub.