Colt Keith: Tigers 2023 Minor League Player Of The Year


Professional baseball has been a game of adjustments for 22-year-old third baseman Colt Keith.

“I watch video of my swings every single game, because at this point I know what my swing’s supposed to look like,” Keith said.

“I can watch my swing and say, ‘OK, I was feeling this.’ And if I look at the video, I can see, ‘OK, well that’s why, because I’m maybe too squatty, or my hands are here.’

“I’ve done that the entire season and just made small adjustments.”

The Tigers drafted Keith out of high school in the fifth and final round of the 2020 draft. He turned in productive—but injury-shortened—2021 and 2022 seasons before breaking through this year.

Through 121 games for Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, he hit .311/.386/.562 with 27 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Keith views a few of the hitting tweaks he made last offseason as keys to his offensive development.

“With me as being a lefthanded batter, I do everything right-legged except for hitting,” Keith said. “It’s weird. So when I get to where I want to attack, and I try to do too much, I really try to attack with my right leg, which leads me to drift out of my backside when I hit.

“I’m really focusing on staying on my stance over my back leg when I’m hitting, and staying in my hips, and not jumping toward the pitcher.”

Outside of the mechanical adjustments, another key factor has been pitch selection.

“If I see a pitch that’s down, I normally just take it because there’s not a lot that I personally can do with that,” Keith said. “I’m a really good high-fastball hitter, and high-offspeed hitter, even curveballs at top of the zone . . .

“I’m not trying to lift anything . . . I’m just trying to backspin (the ball) to wherever it’s pitched. Usually it sits at the top of the zone inside, which I would say is my hot zone.”

Keith was able to up his power production dramatically while keeping his strikeout (21%) and walk rates (10.6%) consistent with last season.

“We’re having a lot of fun,” Keith said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone