Quintin Berry received an early birthday present this year from the Detroit Tigers. The Detroit Sports Broadcasters’ Associates named Berry the Tigers Rookie of the Year. Berry turns 29 years old on November 21st.
Berry won the award after hitting .258 in 2012. Berry’s speed was also good for six triples and a team leading 21 stolen bases. Berry also posted an impressive .330 on-base percentage.
After playing seven seasons in the minor leagues, the Tigers finally gave Berry a chance to play in the majors. The outfielder was a member from minor league teams representing the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. After being claimed as a Minor League free agent by the Tigers in November, Berry spent several months with the Toledo Mud Hens. The Tigers outfielder was called up as an injury replacement in May. Berry hit safely in his first six games and posted an impressive 17 hits in his first 11 major league games.
Berry filled in nicely for the Tigers when they were missing center fielder Austin Jackson. Berry was the leadoff hitter and provided an offensive spark to the team. On June 17th, Berry posted five hits in one game, a rare feat for a rookie hitter. After the All-Star break and Jackson’s return, Berry statistics took a slight decline and he found himself in a reserve role.
Berry was taken in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Phillies. The Tiger was actually a 25th round pick in the 2003 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves, but chose to attend San Diego State University. While playing college baseball, Berry played under head coach and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.