Brandon Inge #15
- Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 190
- 2008 Stats: .205 – 11 HR – 51 RBI
Brandon Inge began last season as the Tigers backup catcher and ended it as the third baseman for 2009. In between was yet another sub-par offensive performance for a player that, as recently as 2006, seemed locked in as a power-hitting, Gold Glove-caliber defensive whiz. Perhaps the shift from full-timer to part-time super-sub weighed on Inge in â€™08, pushing his average to .205.
Unfortunately, thereâ€™s little positive Inge can take away from last season; he struggled against righties and lefties alike, and, outside of the fastball, opposing pitchers had little problem fooling Inge. But he and the Tigers view 2009 as a fresh start.
At the plate, Inge will look to rediscover the power that generated 27 home runs in â€™06. To do that heâ€™ll need to focus on his strengths, particularly turning on pitches on the inner half of the plate, and avoiding the urge to pull the ones on the outer edge.
In 2009, chances are that Inge will save more runs with his defense than heâ€™ll drive in with his bat. Yet the stability heâ€™ll enjoy as the Tigers regular third baseman could ignite an offensive resurgence.