The offseason is underway, and the Detroit Tigers have struck first as they acquired Tucker Barnhart. The Detroit Tigers have sent minor league prospect Nick Quintana to the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange for two-time Gold Glove award-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart.
The Tigers made the move in part due to Jake Rogers scheduled to miss the entire 2022 season. He will recover from Tommy John surgery.
Barnhart, an exceptional pitch framer, joins the Tigers after posting a 49.4% strike rate (Percentage of non-swinging strikes on the edge of the zone that were called ie: borderline) in 2021.
For comparison, Greyson Greiner led the Tigers with 48.5%. Notable higher than Eric Haase (44.7%), Jake Rogers (44.4%), and Dustin Garneau (43.3%).
Last season also saw Barnhart’s career-best in Runs from Extra Strikes, which converts strikes to runs saved, with a +5. No other catcher on the Tigers roster posted anything as a net positive.
Offensively, Barnhart won’t be a focal point of the order but will by no means be a hole in the lineup. At his position, his slash line of .247/.317/.368 as well as his 21 doubles and 100 strikeouts put him at league average.
What did exactly did the Tigers send away?
Nick Quintana was the Tigers second-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Quintana’s best-projected trait at the big league level was his power tool, notably to the pull side. Thus far in his pro career, Quintana found himself susceptible to high velocity and has found himself struggling to make contact.
It’s still very early in his pro career, but if the Tigers saw doubts in his development, they received an excellent return in getting a formidable backstop in Barnhart.
Trading for Barnhart is the first move of hopefully many for the Tigers, in what is going to be their most highly anticipated offseason in recent memory. Fans have been clamoring for Carlos Correa to reunite with his old manager, as well as bringing home beloved starter Justin Verlander.