Zach McKinstry wants to hold down a role with the Detroit Tigers.
It's too early to start thinking about what the Detroit Tigers roster will look like come 2024. But we're there. Co-Expert Matthew Scheidel gave readers a look at what his way-too-early lineup predictions are for the team heading into 2024.
That's just a start. It's a long off-season with plenty for the Detroit Tigers to sort out. There are players in-house who will compete for roles depending on how their respective off-seasons go. For one of those players in particular, he's aiming high.
On Scheidel's lineup mock, he left off Zach McKinstry in lieu of some "outside hires," which is more than justified. The Tigers may be on the prowl this off-season, looking to add in a few new faces. But on the flip side, players like McKinstry will try and prove they still belong.
McKinstry is the utility man extraordinaire, who came in as a late addition in a deal with the Chicago Cubs. McKinstry jumped right in and did a good job trying to prove he belonged with Detroit. The Central Michigan Chippewas standout had bounced around but, in 2023, settled in well.
He was exceptional wherever the Tigers plugged him in, which led to him being nominated for the Gold Glove award for the utility man spot in the American League. He may not be the one who's favored, but he did an excellent job this year with the glove, and he's looking to be more than a versatile player in 2024.
From the sounds of it, McKinstry wants to come back stronger in 2024. In an article from the Detroit Free Press, McKinstry talks about rehabbing from injuries and how it affected his abilities in 2023. He wants to focus on his core moving forward.
In the words of McKinstry, the rotational power comes from the core. When talking hitting, being able to create rotational power and work quick through the zone but also impact it with strength is going to help a ton. For McKinstry, who's looking to continue to provide value in Detroit, it's a smart bet to hit the gym this off-season.
In 2023, McKinstry played in 148 games for Detroit, where he managed 518 plate appearances. He slashed .231/.302/.351 with 21 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs while plating 35 runs. He walked 44 times to 113 strikeouts.
For Detroit, there's still a lot he can bring to the table, but he's done an excellent job in the short time he's been with the organization. A big off-season of adding some strength, paired with some swing refinements and would benefit his role with the Tigers in 2024.