Detroit Tigers: Where has Niko Goodrum been in 2021?

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers added utility player Niko Goodrum back in 2017 via free agency, and at first, it seemed like they may have found a player who could be important to their roster. Instead, Goodrum has fallen off quite a bit, and 2021 was another example of that.

The 2021 season continues on for the Detroit Tigers, and with the expanded roster, Niko Goodrum is getting another shot after a recent activation to join the big league club once again. After a nice upward trend in 2018 and 2019, things started going south for Goodrum.

After baseball returned from its pause due to the pandemic, Goodrum was not quite the same players that the Tigers fans grew to know and love. In 2020, Goodrum would log 43 of the team’s 60-game sprint season.

He slashed .184/.263/.335 over the course of the season and was punched out 69 times. It’s not the numbers the Tigers were hoping for, even out of a player who could be deemed as nothing but a utility man overliving expectations on a rebuilding team.

What happened to Detroit Tigers utility player Niko Goodrum?

I’ll admit it; even I was a lot higher on Goodrum than I should have been. I thought he was going to end up turning things around and be a lot more like a Marwin Gonzales super utility. A boy can dream, right?

The reality is, Goodrum never got to that level and never really even got close to it, to be honest. In 2021, in a full season, after the pandemic shortened things in 2020, Goodrum has not had the best fortune once again.

He’s played 75 games for the Tigers, where he’s hitting .217/.301/.336 with 89 punchouts. Recently, Goodrum was on the shelf with a groin strain, but he is back with the organization after a rehab stint. The question is if that is really a good thing or not?

The numbers have not been too great, and with other players stepping up into roles, even as a utility guy, there is not as much room for him in the team’s lineup day in and day out. The Tigers have players like Harold and Willi Castro who can play multiple positions, not to mention Jonathan Schoop, who signed a contract extension earlier this season.

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The Tigers filled the spots that Goodrum frequented, and with struggles at the plate, it’s made things tough for him in 2021. He’s underwhelmed in the performance department and his time in the Tigers organization may be numbered given his performance over the last two seasons.