Prior to the acquisition of Omar Infante in July, the Tigers second base production in 2012 was downright terrible. What started as a platoon between Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago quickly turned to a revolving door of players. The team saw a total of six different players make an appearance at second base before Infante was acquired. Even with Infante factored in the group as a whole went on to post a -1.5 WAR.
Deeper Dive: Infante’s Numbers
At the time of his acquisition Infante was having a very solid season for Miami posting a .287/.312/.442 line through 85 games. Following his trade to the Tigers his numbers took a bit of a dip. In 64 games he posted just a .257/.283/.385 line and committed nine errors at second base.
While his numbers with the Tigers appear underwhelming, he did provide the team with some positive aspects. In the 13 postseason games he hit .300, including .333 in the World Series. Also, his 11.9 RngR (Range runs above average) led MLB second basemen and his 10.1 UZR was second. Given that range is one of Infante’s strengths he is certainly able to provide the Tigers with a skill that the rest of the infield defenders lack.
Infante will provide the Tigers with a true everyday second baseman in 2013. A career .275 hitter, he won’t produce any type of special numbers offensively but should provide the team with a very solid hitter, most likely out of the nine spot in the batting order. Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth will once again serve as potential backups at second.
One interesting candidate to follow in spring training will be Rule 5 pick Jeff Kobernus. A second baseman by trade, Kobernus offers the team a potential speed option as a utility player. 2013 Will be the final year of Infante’s contract and it remains to be seen what the organization will do at the position in the future.