Detroit Tigers: Team defense has been a pleasant surprise so far

New York Mets v Detroit Tigers          .
New York Mets v Detroit Tigers . / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

The Detroit Tigers have bene playing great defense to begin the 2023 season

Last season, the Detroit Tigers were an okay defensive team. Jonathan Schoop did a lot of the heavy lifting at second base, ranking first in all of baseball with a 27 outs above average (OAA). This season, everyone has been contributing on defense.

The Detroit Tigers currently rank third in all of baseball with 18 defensive runs saved (DRS), up from 13th a year ago. They have a team OAA of 7, good for seventh in baseball, which is where the team ranked last season. They are 14th in total errors committed with 18, helped in large part by a four-error performance last Sunday in St. Louis.

Since the offense has just started to perk up here in the month of May, and the pitching hasn't been striking many batters out, it's imperative that this team play good defense, and they are doing just that.

Javier Baez is tied for second in all of baseball with an OAA of 6. He had just a 1 OAA all of last season. He's really stepped up his game at shortstop.

Jonathan Schoop has been great at second base once again. He has an OAA of 3 so far this year.

It's not just the infield that has been great at preventing runs. It's the outfield as well. Tigers' outfielders have a DRS of 7 so far this year, tied for fourth in all of baseball. Matt Vierling, who's been borderline elite in right field, has a DRS of 6, which is tied for second among all big league outfielders.

The Detroit Tigers are playing great defense behind their pitchers. We've talked on and on about how poor the offense has been over the past year and change, but their defense deserves some attention. It's been a pleasant surprise to begin the season.

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