Alex Presley joined the Tigers' parade of over-30 bench players who were thrust into regular roles for a stretch in 2017, and he appeared in his highest total of games at the big-league level (71) since 2014 with the Astros. Removed from the Tigers' 40-man roster in December, Presley refused an outright assignment to Toledo and became a free agent. If he gets another opportunity to compete for a roster spot in spring training, it will likely be as a fifth outfielder, and his chances of topping 250 plate appearances again will hinge entirely on the quality of the starters ahead of him on the organizational depth chart. Across the board, his slash line brought new career-highs (.314/.354/.416), but Presley is ideally suited for a part-time role in which he is not exposed to left-handed pitching, as his OPS was more than 200 points higher against righties in 2017 (.797).
Presley decided to elect free agency instead of accepting an outright assignment from the Tigers on Thursday, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. Presley will look to latch on with a different organization after having a solid season with the Tigers, especially once he earned a bigger role following the team's moves at the trade deadline. During 71 major-league games, he slashed .314/.354/.416 with three home runs and 20 RBI.
Presley went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in Wednesday's loss to the Royals. The three-hit effort boosted Presley's season average up to .325. Needless to say, not many saw this coming after the outfielder hit .198 last year with Milwaukee and Detroit. Presley has played his way into the mix for a starting role in 2018, though he'll likely be competing with JaCoby Jones, Nick Castellanos and Mikie Mahtook for playing time.
Presley went 4-for-6 with a double and a solo homer in a 9-8 loss to the A's on Tuesday. With a cool .322 average through 61 games, Presley has been a surprise contributor for AL-only formats, but there's not a lot of depth to that production. He has just two homers and four steals on his line, and Presley's sky-high BABIP -- .386 entering play Tuesday -- is crying out for regression to the mean.
Presley is not in the lineup against Toronto on Saturday. Presley will remain on the bench for the second consecutive game while Nick Castellanos draws another start in right field. Over the course of the season, Presley is hitting .309/.353/.389 with one home run and 14 RBI in 54 games.
Presley is out of the lineup against the Blue Jays on Friday. Presley receives a standard day off following seven straight starts, batting .387/.406/.452 with a pair of RBI during that span. Nick Castellanos gets the assignment in right field in his stead.