Catcher Alex Avila had a down year at the plate in 2012 and has struggled early on this season as well.
Avila is only batting .195 with two home runs and two runs batted in. He also leads the team with 11 strikeouts.
Avila may never hit as well as he did in 2011—he was an All-Star and hit .295—but expect him to at least raise his average up to around his career average of .259.
The key to remember with Avila is that his strength lies in how he handles the pitching staff, and he is quite strong at calling games and handling his fielding chances. Avila has been a Gold Glove finalist for two straight years and expect him to win one eventually.
So far, Avila has a 1.000 fielding percentage and a range factor per game of 10.11, which is above the league average of 7.94.
Avila has only thrown out one baserunner out of 11 so far, which seems to be the only area for concern when it comes to his defense.
If it wasn't for Avila's catching, he would get probably get a D-.
However, behind the plate he is vital to the Detroit Tigers' success.