The Detroit Tigers outfield definitely got better this off-season. An addition like Torii Hunter is the type of move that makes a good team great–hopefully he can pour in the .313 batting average, 16 home-runs and 92 RBI he had with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012.
The club signed Hunter to a two year $26 million contract to do more than just catch pop flies and drive in runs. Under Hunter’s tutelage, Angels CF Mike Trout had the best rookie season in the history of MLB, and the Tigers are hoping Hunter can help center fielder Austin Jackson the same way. Jackson isn’t as young as Trout but patrols center field the same way, and is always soaking up knowledge at just 25-years-old.
Hunter said himself that he feels he doesn’t have that big of a burden given the teams recent triumphs saying he can “come here and be a small piece of the puzzle.” Whether or not he will be heavily relied on remains to be seen however, with Victor Martinez coming back in 2012 the sky is the limit. Martinez was a force to be reckoned with before going down with a torn ACL last offseason.
The Tigers will be batting Hunter second where he hopes to get on base and drive in runs for a team that is the early favorite to win the AL Central once again. While the season is still long away, I have the Tigers pegged as World Series bound already.
I expect Hunter to do exactly what he did last season and lead the Tigers in more ways the one.