Of the teams ranked in the bottom-6th of ESPN's latest MLB Power Rankings, no team comes away with quite as much optimism as the Detroit Tigers. Closer to .500 through the first month of the season than the teams in its company, it's easy to see why perception would swing that way.

Still, the Tigers land at 26 in those rankings, only sitting ahead of the truly bad teams (The A's, Royals and Rockies) and one team in the same boat as Detroit, the Nationals.

In full perspective, as upswing as the Tigers have looked with an incredibly low bar to clear, Detroit still sits in the same position in these rankings as it did in the preseason rankings. If being better than 2022's 66-96 is what constitutes success, Detroit is just barely averaging a better winning percentage.

Still, Detroit has shown it can at least hang with the lower mid-tier clubs during the 5-game winning streak in mid-April.

ESPN's Bradford Doolittle wrote the excerpt for the Tigers ranking and pointed to the performances of pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and shortstop Javier Baez as proof that amidst all of the frustration in Detroit, things are heading in the right direction.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles
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Rodriguez has allowed just two runs over his past four starts, bringing down his season ERA to 2.21 in six starts. Not a bad turnaround after giving up 3 homers in his first two starts. Pairing up his success on the mound with Baez on the backend is one of the tracks to success Detroit can follow.

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Baez is near the top of the league's defensive charts across the board, most notably his top-10 .978 fielding percentage, a league-leading .7 DWAR along with just two errors.

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners - Game One
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On the other hand, the Tigers have to score points to win games and bad offense explains away Detroit's struggles so far. Baez has seen a resurgence since mid-April himself, but of course, the team success didn't follow. On the whole, Detroit is 27th in batting average. Until that improves, the team is just sitting on optimistic praise with nothing to show for it.

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