The outfield for the Detroit Tigers will look very similar to last year with just one change in right field. JaCoby Jones will be the everyday center fielder, while left field will be anchored to Christin Stewart. The new comer to right field is a familiar face as Cameron Maybin makes his return to Detroit. Victor Reyes will be the depth as he can play all three positions and infielder Harold Castro can fill-in when needed on the corners. When healthy this outfield can be above average and if a couple pieces continue to develop Jones and Stewart could be patrolling Comerica Park for years to come.
JaCoby Jones struggled with injuries last season, but when healthy is an excellent defender whose bat is developing. Jones has the potential to be a 20 home run, 20 steal player if he gets a full season in. The 28 year old center fielder is coming into his prime and could have a breakout type of year. Jones’ best attribute is his ability to track down fly balls in the gaps that dramatically help out the pitching staff. As long as his bat continues to get better, Jones could be the Tigers center fielder for a long time.
Christin Stewart saw his first consistent time in the majors last season and had the type of results that you would expect for a first year player. Stewart struggled with strikeouts but had 25 doubles to show what kind of potential he does have. This season is big for Stewart, as he tries to prove that he can be the left fielder of the future for the Tigers. He provides the lineup with a much needed left handed bat and if he continues to progress could be an important part of this rebuild.
Cameron Maybin is exactly what the Tigers need this season and that is a major league talent in right field. The Tigers system has a couple of prospects that are primed to take over in right field but aren’t ready to do so yet. Maybin who is a bit of a journeyman, gives you a very rounded option in the outfield that is never going to hurt you by having him in the lineup. In his previous stop with Detroit, Maybin was somewhat of a spark plug that got the offense going. All the Tigers need from Maybin this season is what he has been his entire career.
Victor Reyes is one of the more versatile young players that the Detroit Tigers have. He can play all three outfield positions and last year posted a .304 average over 69 games. Reyes’ plate discipline could be better as he doesn’t walk very much, but who does now a days. The 25 year old will see plenty of time again this season and is one of the players in the Tigers system that could eventually plant himself in right field. He will definitely get more reps in than the more highly touted outfield prospects, with the shortened season and I’m sure Reyes will be looking to make the best out of his opportunities.
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