The Detroit Tigers were one of the biggest disappointments in baseball in 2022. This year, they could be one of the game’s biggest surprises.
The Tigers’ problems last season came down to their lack of offense. They finished 13th in the American League in hits and batting average, while finishing 14th in on base percentage, steals, slugging, and OPS. To make matters worse, the Tigers were dead last in homers, runs, and walks. While the pitching staff did their job, the lineup did not come close to being viable.
Detroit Tigers lineup eyeing step forward in 2023
But there are signs that will change this year. The Tigers may have been dead last in the majors with 110 homers last year, but they are leading MLB with 24 homers in spring training entering Friday. Spencer Torkelson, who had been a complete bust in 2022, is hammering the ball. Even his outs are being hit hard, with five outs having an exit velocity of 105 MPH or higher. He could take that step forward and become the slugger that Detroit needs.
Torkelson is not the only reason for optimism. Riley Greene has performed well thus far as well and could take that step forward as well. Austin Meadows is healthy once again and will make a difference in the lineup. Javier Baez was a bust as a free agent signing, but could use the World Baseball Classic as a springboard to a strong season; he’s done it before.
Spring is a time for optimism. Even fans of the lowliest teams around the game can find reasons to hope that this could be the year. For the Tigers, it all comes down to their offense and whether or not they can hit. Although spring training games do not matter, they are giving the Tigers a reason to hope.
The Detroit Tigers are showing some signs of firepower in spring training. If it carries over to the regular season, they could be a surprise team in 2023.