Detroit Tigers: Scott Harris' offseason moves are paying off
By Jon Kloss
Scott Harris' moves have paid off so far for the Detroit Tigers
While Scott Harris and the Detroit Tigers may not have not gone out and spent money on some of the bigger bats on the free agent market, some of the Tigers' offseason moves are paying off. Scott Harris decided to make some under-the-radar trade candidates to fill some holes for the Tigers' offense.
Zach McKinstry (Acquired from Cubs)
Don't judge a book by its cover. That phrase rings true with Zach McKinstry, who was a last-minute addition to the 2023 Detroit Tigers' roster and has arguably been their most consistent hitter. Tigers' fans were not expecting much from the 27-year-old, who had never really been able to succeed in the major leagues.
McKinstry is another player with defensive versatility for AJ Hinch and has even been a regular against righties for the Tigers. The former Central Michigan graduate has an OPS+ of 118 and is hitting the ball harder than ever.
Nick Maton (Acquired via trade with Phillies)
While Nick Maton has struggled with making contact this season, he tied for the Tigers team lead in home runs, RBIs, and walks. His defensive versatility is also not to be forgotten as well. There has been talk about Maton's inability to hit off-speed pitches, so he will need to work on that moving forward as the 2023 season continues.
Maton has mainly played third base but has filled in at short and second for the Tigers. At just 26 years old, you are hoping Maton can make more consistent contact and tap into his power more. But Maton has shown plenty of potential so far, and the hope is he can be a long-term piece moving forward. His ability to dominate the strike zone has shown.
Matt Vierling (Acquired via trade with Phillies)
Matt Vierling has arguably been the best player out of these three. His OPS+ sits above 100, he has a dWAR of 0.4, and he has been rock solid at the plate. Just like Maton, Vierling is only 26 years old, so the hope is there is still improvement to be made offensively for the righty.
Base running is another area of improvement Vierling needs to make, as he has been caught stealing four times already this year. But the speed is there, and with a little bit of progress, Vierling could challenge for an everyday outfield spot and has shown he can be a solid fourth option.