The Detroit Tigers are not looking back at 2019, as they have sent their home run leader, Brandon Dixon, to AAA.
Baseball may be a game where the past and present are entwined, but that does not mean that teams will fill their lineups based on yesterday’s accomplishments. Even for rebuilding teams like the Detroit Tigers, they cannot rest on last year’s accomplishments as they look to improve their roster.
This is a lesson that Brandon Dixon has painfully learned. The Tigers’ 2019 home run leader, he was designated for assignment when the team signed C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop. He went unclaimed afterwards, allowing Detroit to assign the AAA Toledo Mud Hens.
While Dixon did lead the Tigers with 15 homers, the rest of his offensive production was not the greatest. He produced a fairly weak .248/.290/.435 batting line, drawing just 21 walks while striking out 136 times in his 420 plate appearances.
Nonetheless, Dixon is a solid depth piece to have, either as a bench option or in AAA. Although he primarily saw action at first, Dixon also appeared at second, third, all three outfield positions, and even had two appearances on the mound.
With that versatility and decent pop, there was the risk that Dixon would be claimed. After all, that was how the Tigers acquired him prior to 2019, when the Reds placed the utility man on waivers. Instead, he will remain in the system, a valuable depth piece and a player that could potentially be added to the roster in case of injury. Or, with a strong enough Spring Training, he could earn a major league job once more.
The Detroit Tigers have sent their home run leader in 2019 to the minors. However, it would not be a surprise if Brandon Dixon resurfaces in Detroit at some point in the coming season.