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FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Season in Review: Detroit Tigers

Season in Review: Detroit Tigers

Saying I’ve been waiting for this one is a colossal understatement.

The Tigers’ 2022 was met with little fanfare, despite preseason talks that the team was a sleeper to win the AL Central. Instead, they stumbled to a 66-96 record and finished 4th in the AL Central. In the middle of the disaster was shortstop Javier Baez, who hit .238 with 17 home runs, which is underperforming, to say the least. Baez’s contract is worth $140 million over six years, and he’ll be on the books for years to come. The future in Detroit is bright, however. Young talent showed flashes in 2022, and the Tigers have much to look forward to coming next season.

The good:

The sophomore (and junior) successes. Heading into 2022, the biggest reasons to be excited about Detroit baseball were the two top-ten prospects entering the bigs. Spencer Torkelson, the #1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, had powered his way through the minors in 2021, getting through High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie, and finishing the season in Triple-A Toledo. However, his inaugural big league season was less than impressive. Torkelson hit just a cut above .200 with eight homers in 110 games. It was a massive disappointment for someone who was expected to be the replacement for legendary hitter Miguel Cabrera. In year two, however, Torkelson bounced back about as well as anyone could expect, connecting on 31 home runs and driving in 94 runs. He was the BBWAA’s Tiger of the Year and a Silver Slugger finalist at first base, a clear resurgence from a fluke rookie year.

Although outfielder Riley Greene was seen to have had a clearly better performance in 2022, it was far from perfect. In ’22, Greene hit .253 with five homers in 376 plate appearances, securing the leadoff spot in Detroit despite the lower numbers. He put it all together in year two, though. In a similar sample size due to IL stints, Greene hit .288 with 11 home runs and seven stolen bases, including a month of May where he hit .353. He’ll be a fixture for years to come.

To complete the three-headed monster of second-year players, outfielder and DH Kerry Carpenter, who exploded in the minors last season before forcing the issue and getting called up, caught fire. He put together a .278 batting average with 20 home runs, cementing himself in the middle of the order for the future of Detroit.

Fourth-year pitcher Tarik Skubal was chained to the pine for the first half of the season due to surgery, but he made it count when he got on the field. Skubal went 7-3 with a 2.8 ERA in 15 starts with 102 strikeouts. Skubal had shown flashes and even dominant stretches in ’22 but struggled at times and was continuously bitten by the injury bug. He looks healthy now, however, and that’s scary for AL opponents.

The bad:

The other bats continue to struggle. Every year, Javy Baez is going to make us question his contract more and more, especially given that he opted into the remaining four years and $98 million on his contract. He’s still a below-average hitter, and the Tigers may give up on him soon. Offseason trade acquisition Nick Maton was a complete disaster in 93 games, hitting a paltry .173 despite the high hopes for him this offseason. Detroit had a combined team batting average of .236, 27th in the league out of 30. Sometimes, in cases of long-time Tigers such as Eric Haase (.201) and Jonathan Schoop (.213), it resulted in them getting waived and lost from the team. Akil Baddoo has always struggled to put together consistent success, and that continued this season as he showed flashes of incredible talent but always seemed to slump and never have a hot stretch. More impressive but still inconsistent was catcher Jake Rogers, hitting .221 with 21 homers. In order for the team to piece together a playoff run, they need a more consistent and talented lineup.

The sad:

Miguel Cabrera has retired. One of the greatest of all time, legendary slugger Miguel Cabrera walked away from baseball at the end of the season. Cabrera hit over 500 home runs and collected over 3,000 hits in his 20-year career, one of three players of all time to accomplish that. Cabrera is irreplaceable in Detroit’s lineup, but he did get a job with the organization to stay in Detroit.


Torkelson. In a lineup practically devoid of power (besides Carpenter), someone needed to step up. Torkelson’s impressive slugging numbers and consistent contributions in the middle of the order were more than welcome additions to the Tigers’ youth movement. He’ll stay in the middle of the order and at first base for a while.

One word:

Optimistic. The Tigers have developed young talent extremely well, with guys like Skubal and Torkelson leading the way. Although they might not be ready for the bright lights of postseason competition just yet, the Tigers have a scary young core to build around, and they’ll only get better as the years go by.

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About the Contributor
Gibby Wierenga
Gibby is a sophomore entering his first year on the FHC Sports Report staff. He is hopeful to join varsity baseball this season after playing for the freshman team a season ago. He's a big fan of Detroit sports and the University of Michigan. He also is a big baseball brain, so he is very into baseball trivia and is prepared for any question on the subject that could be asked about him. Gibby spends a lot of time at LMCU Ballpark and keeps a close eye on the Whitecaps, even if he's not there. He's excited for the future of the Tigers and cautiously optimistic for the Lions this season. He loves fantasy football and will try to answer questions about it if asked.   Position: Outfield Favorite Tiger: Spencer Torkelson Favorite Lion: Aidan Hutchinson Favorite sports memory: The tournaments he played this summer  

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