22 May 2012
Austin Jackson appeared all set to return to the team after the initial lineup had him penciled in prior to Tuesday night’s game, but he ended up being scratched from the lineup. Following the game, the Tigers designated pitcher Colin Balester for assignment, and purchased the contract of Quintin Berry from Toledo.
You may remember Berry as the center fielder who caught fans by surprise in spring training, hitting .333/.441/.556 in 30 plate appearances and remaining in camp until the final roster cuts. But hot spring aside, Berry has been a career minor leaguer with very little power, a mild batting average, and some decent on-base skill.
It’s probably not encouraging to find out that Player X is Don Kelly, the man Berry is replacing as Jackson’s understudy. Given their respective ages, Berry is 27, it’s not unreasonable that Berry could out-perform Kelly at the plate and on the base paths, but we’re splitting hairs with two hitters that are around replacement level in the batter’s box.
I like that Berry has taken a lot of walks in the minor leagues, but I’m skeptical as to whether that will translate well to the big leagues, especially with his propensity to strike out. It usually doesn’t happen with players that have little power to speak of.
Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.