Detroit Tigers 2021 season grades: Manager A.J. Hinch in his first year

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

The Detroit Tigers 2021 season may be over, but going through and looking at the season is always important. When the Detroit Tigers brought in a new manager ahead of the 2021 season, it was pretty clear that things were changing in the organization.

It seems that they are moving towards a new age, and this season surely proved that. While the Detroit Tigers may not have been a .500 team, they were much closer to it and seemingly had started turning the corner on the rebuild.

Manager A.J. Hinch definitely had a thing or two to do with that in his first season with the organization. Many of the Tigers faithful may not have been a big fan of Hinch or sold on his hiring. But cheating scandal aside, he is a great manager and proved that this year.

There’s going to be naysayers, and there still are, but Hinch has this team moving in the right direction. Senior management with the Tigers is evolving as well, and things are generally trending in the right direction.

Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch deserves a B+ for the 2021 season.

Hinch managed the Tigers to a 77-85 record over the 162 game season. They came in third in the American League Central, and speaking generically; they were a much more fun ball club to watch than in previous years.

An exciting yet possibly important stat to note was that his percentage of calls overturned that he challenged was higher this year than any other year he has been a bench boss for a big league club. His success rate was 58.3% getting seven out of 12 replay challenges overturned from this past season.

This was the least amount of challenges that Hinch had ever subjected the umpiring crew to, and it’s easy to see that being more disciplined than he had been in previous years. Hinch overall has been a coach who created good clubhouse energy that was also facilitated by the players and overall had the team moving in a positive direction.

Many people are going to scoff and still be against the Tigers for hiring Hinch after his involvement in the sign-stealing scandal back in Houston, but the Tigers have a good manager in him. The reason I chose to give him a B+ was because the results may not have been there, but no one should have been expecting a better than .500 season.

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However, getting closer to near .500 is solid, and showing results like this will only bode well for the next few seasons as the team gets better. Giving Hinch a B+ shows that it was a good season and also leaves room for improvements which should