Detroit Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez (30) has slid perfectly into the bottom third of the Detroit Tigers batting order. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Detroit Tiger Rookie Eugenio Suarez For Real?

Eugenio Suarez has been tearing it up since arriving in the majors on June 4th.  He is hitting .375 with a .464 on-base-percentage.  Suarez has also shown a bit of a power stroke as well hitting 3 big flys in just 24 at-bats.

Suarez has also done it with the glove, stabilizing the shortstop position by playing solid defense with range.

Not to shabby for a guy who was passed over after spring training in a favor of a couple of platoon.

Now Suarez is the starting shortstop and although his arrival in the majors may have been a little delayed, it was not too soon for a team that was struggling to find a starting shortstop.

With all the hype surrounding Suarez, the realistic baseball fan would say that a nine game sample size is too small to judge whether or not a player will have a lasting career in the majors. There are may former Detroit Tigers who have shown flashes of brilliance only to fizzle out just as fast as they flared up.

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Fizzled Out

Matt Nokes had a stellar season in 1987 batting .289 with 32 home runs and 87 RBI in 508 at-bats.  Nokes was never able to duplicate that season although he came close as a Yankee in 1991.

Chris “Red Pop” Shelton had a great season in 2005 at first base leading some to call him a “professional hitter”. Shelton’s success was also short-lived and played his last MLB season with Texas in 2009.

Shelton and Nokes are a couple of examples of how a great season does not necessarily guarantee long-term success. For the pessimistic fan this is proof that fans should not to get too excited about Eugenio Suarez becoming the next great Detroit Tiger shortstop.

Became The Best

But for the optimistic fan there are a couple of examples too.

Did you know that Eugenio Suarez is off to a better start Alan Trammell?  Through his first 29 at-bats, Trammell hit .207 with zero home runs and zero RBIs.  Granted the 1977 Tigers did not have the offense they have in 2014 so RBI chances were limited. But it is still an interesting comparison.

Conversely, in the first ten games of his career, Carlos Guillen hit .333 with 5 RBI. Guillen’s start bares some resemblance to that of  Suarez minus the power.

Both Trammell and Guillen went on to average 13 and 15 home runs in their MLB career respectively. Suarez could have the same power in the majors.

Don’t Count Your Chickens

At the end of the day does the hot start by Eugenio Suarez mean he is the next Alan Trammell or Carlos Guillen.

Of course not.

But it doesn’t mean that he is the next Chris Shelton either.

So far this season Eugenio Suarez has given the Tigers exactly what they needed, a spark in the bottom third of the line-up. As fans we should thankful for that now and figure out whether Suarez is the shortstop of the future later.




Tags: Alan Trammell Carlos Guillen Detroit Tigers Eugenio Suarez

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