The Detroit Tigers have an unexpected star in their lineup

No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson has continued to struggle this season, and Kerry Carpenter has pounced on the opportunity to make his name known.
The Detroit Tigers celebrate Matt Vierling's go ahead home run in a game against the Kansas City Royals.
The Detroit Tigers celebrate Matt Vierling's go ahead home run in a game against the Kansas City Royals. / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

The Detroit Tigers have had their share of superstars come through their lineup. Tigers fans are no stranger to premier hitters, from Ty Cobb and Al Kaline to Alan Trammell and Miguel Cabrera. They have yet to find that player in this lineup, but a very unsuspected candidate exists.

There was a strong belief that Spencer Torkelson would take the reins after Miguel Cabrera departed from the Motor City. After all, he was the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Thus far, Torkelson's career has been up and down. 2022 brought a .203 average with only eight home runs, followed by a great 2023 campaign where he hit .233 with a team-leading 31 home runs. This season, Torkelson is hitting just .216 with ZERO long balls. We are a month into the season and the Tigers' main source of power has no home runs. That is concerning.

Luckily, another name has taken advantage of Torkelson's struggles and elevated himself into a middle-of-the-order hitter. Outfielder Kerry Carpenter has surged through the first month of the year, slashing .273/.312/.477 with three home runs and 14 RBI. Taken in the 19th round of the 2019 draft, the slugger was not a top prospect coming through the Tigers' system but has blossomed into a true major-league hitter.

Consistency has been key to Carpener's success. He has been hitting around .270 for the entirety of the past two seasons, rarely falling much lower than that. 20 home runs in 2023 also helped him become a household name in Detroit.

Kerry Carpenter is becoming the next Detroit Tigers star before our very eyes.

Kerry Carpenter has been making history this season for Detroit, and they look for that success to continue. He has a serious number two or three-hitter written all over him. His short-to-it, long-through-it approach is a hitting coach's dream. His one downfall is there is a knack for strikeouts. With time, this is something that can be helped. Many players become more disciplined after a few seasons in the league.

If Carpenter can keep the strikeouts to a minimum and continue to hit the way that he has, I could legitimately see him being an All-Star for the team this year alongside Tarik Skubal.

In an ideal world, Carpenter improves his discipline, stays healthy (which he has done so far), and can continue to power this Tigers' offense for years to come.