The Detroit Tigers outfield is a mess during this rebuild, but in his third season, Victor Reyes has earned a home in the outfield for the time being.
For the Detroit Tigers, there is no certainty as to when the 2020 season will begin or how it will be formatted, but it allows time to take a deep dive into the organization. Knowing the rebuild is far from over, take a look at the current Tigers and the state of the outfield.
The outfielder that has earned his everyday role the most among the group would be Victor Reyes. Though players like Christin Stewart and JaCoby Jones may have had more original upside, things have changed, and Reyes is the most deserving of the everyday starting role.
Reyes is heading into his third season in the big leagues after being a Rule-5 draft choice of the Tigers back in 2017. Now twenty-five, Reyes was looking to show he belongs in the lineup every day in the outfield, whether it be center, left, or right field.
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In his first season after being a Rule-5 pick, Reyes found his way into 100 games but only registering 219 at-bats with a .222/.239/.288 slash line with 12 RBI and nine stolen bases. Last year Reyes would not find his way into as many games for the Tigers but had more at-bats.
In 2019, Reyes registered 292 at-bats over 69 games while hitting .304/.336/.431 with three home runs and 25 RBI on the season. He would also steal nine bases with twenty-four total extra-base hits.
The switch-hitter offers value to the Tigers lineup, and his speed makes him a threat on the basepaths. Reyes is a viable option in the outfield as well; the quickness helps his range if he is in centerfield covering more ground.
Going into the 2020 season, Reyes was going to be in the mix with players like Jones and Cameron Maybin in centerfield. He could also be serviceable in right field or left to make sure he is in the lineup.
The Tigers season was shelved, but Reyes had an excellent start to the Spring, hitting .357/.367/.464 in 12 games. If and when baseball does return, it seems like the mixture of speed and power that comes with Reyes will allow him to earn his spot in the Tigers lineup.
Though the rebuild is far from over, fans who stick with the Tigers should not be shocked if Reyes sticks around for a few seasons while he comes into his own in the big leagues. The outfield has a lot of players who need to prove themselves, and Reyes seems most likely to do so.
The Detroit Tigers should allow Victor Reyes to prove himself as an everyday outfielder when baseball returns for the 2020 season.