We're just six days away and have seven players left in our countdown, so we'll need to fix that... later. Today's post is going to center around Torii Hunter, the solid all-around right fielder that the Tigers signed this offseason. We'll let one of the beat writers handle the fluff pieces about his veteran presence and leadership. What happened last season? Despite all of those years as a Minnesota Twin in which Hunter absolutely decimated the Tigers, he hit over .300 for the first time in 2012. His .313 average was largely buoyed by a .389 BABIP, but a career-best 22.6% line drive rate makes me hesitate to say that regression is imminent in 2013. His ground ball rate also hit a career high of 52.0%, so it's pretty clear that Torii made some adjustments to his plate approach. An on base percentage of .365 -- just .001 off of his career high -- further cements this hypothesis. Defensively, Hunter has fallen off of the form that won him nine straight Gold Gloves, but this doesn't mean that he won't be a humongous upgrade over anyone that played right field for the Tigers in 2012. Torii had a UZR of 10.4 in right field for the Angels in 2012 and was worth 15 defensive runs saved. He also had 14 assists. By comparison, the entire Tigers outfield combined for 20 assists, led by defensive wizards Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch, who had five apiece.
Torii Hunter brings more than just experience to the Tigers outfield
Bless You Boys | Feb 6