Following the conclusion of a rocky Triple-A season in 2019, Daz Cameron made one thing clear. If he was to be considered for a big league callup, he wanted to be certain his work had earned it.
Cameron handled center field without issue at Triple-A Toledo in 2019, but at the plate his desire to develop wasn’t able to translate to his performance. He hit .214/.330/.377 with 13 home runs in 120 games.
The Tigers provided Cameron with the opportunity to participate in the Puerto Rican League that winter. To Cameron, the challenge was a breath of fresh air.
“(In winter ball), there’s no analytics being talked about compared to how it is here,” Cameron said. “Here, it’s definitely more like computer situations, where you have more stats, but down (in Puerto Rico), it’s a feel thing. You go with the flow of the baseball game and you play it to the situation.”
Cameron made his major league debut in 2020, appearing in 17 games and batting .193. Detroit assigned the 24-year-old to the Puerto Rican League again this winter.
“My main goal was to come down here and get more at-bats, because I didn’t get that many during the regular season,” Cameron said. “I wanted to come down here and make sure that I got better.”
While his time with Detroit may have been condensed, Cameron entered the winter season with some advice passed along from someone who knows a thing or two about discovering one’s identity as a hitter: Miguel Cabrera.
“He told me I just have to be myself and just ready to attack,” Cameron said. “Sometimes we can be overwhelmed with how we’re swinging the bat or what we’re doing at the plate and how we’re going through situations in the game. When really, it takes just a simple word to get us back on track.”
This winter, Cameron faced another opportunity to dive deeper into his own identity, and with Cabrera’s advice ringing clear in his mind, he planned to make the most of it.