The Quintin Berry Experience: Detroit Tigers Capture Lightning in a Bottle

Rudy TarkusContributor IIJuly 6, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 26: Quintin Berry #52 of the Detroit Tigers attempts a bunt against the Texas Rangers on June 26, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

To make it very simple, 27-year-old Quintin Berry, who making his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers, has put up a slash line of .295/.392/.394 in 132 at-bats. Tack on to that a two-run triple in tonight's game against the Kansas City Royals.

Had Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks never been injured, it's possible Berry never would have received the call-up. Luckily for the Tigers, he did. It's also lucky for baseball, because sports fans love Cinderella stories. 

Over seven seasons in various minor league organizations, the San Diego native put up a modest slash line of .267/.358/.338. It's safe to say he may have never made it to the majors if not for the injuries to Dirks and Jackson. But, the Tigers were in a pinch, and they made the call.

Berry brings much-needed speed to the pop-heavy Tigers lineup, and a 12-for-12 record in stolen bases in only 39 games is testament to his base-stealing ability. 

Over the past two weeks, Berry's bat has cooled off significantly (.263), but he has managed to draw walks with consistency and has maintained an OBP of .392 in the 2012 season. Berry has quickly become a two-hole batter Jim Leyland can rely on with power hitters Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder batting third and fourth.

Baseball breeds "feel-good" stories like Berry's, and he couldn't have come to the Tigers at a better time. With Andy Dirks likely sidelined until August, it's a safe bet that Berry will bat second behind Austin Jackson for the foreseeable future. 

It has been one exciting story for Quintin Berry in his MLB debut, and he has undoubtedly helped the Tigers get back to the .500 mark. The question is, what will the next chapter of the story bring? History shows us that he will eventually fall back to Earth, but after 130 at-bats, Tigers fans are keeping their fingers crossed.

(H/t for statistics)