Infielder Andre Lipcius continues strong spring at plate for Tigers

Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — The first cut might’ve deeper had it not been for the WBC. With infielders Jonathan Schoop, Andy Ibanez and Javier Báez out of camp, several players are getting some extended looks this week.

One of those is infielder Andre Lipcius, who continues to impress at the plate. He blasted his third home run of the spring Tuesday. He and teammate Jake Rogers were tied for the Grapefruit League home run lead at that time. He’s hitting .428 with six RBIs.

“He’s a smart hitter,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “He knows how to put together a game plan, he commits to the game plan when he goes up there and he generally executes inside the strike zone. I can see why his track record has been controlling the strike zone and I can see that he’s been a little bit of an underrated prospect.”

He’s also been a high-walk, low-strikeout hitter. He had a .393 on-base percentage at University of Tennessee, .356 in the minor leagues and last year at Triple-A Toledo slashed .302/.388/.453.

“I’m starting to see where he can fit in a good number of combinations with the rest of our group.”

He’s got long odds of making the Opening Day roster, but he’s put himself on the radar.

“He’s a little more versatile and comfortable playing different positions than maybe I thought,” Hinch said. “But he needs a ton more reps at second and first for him to truly be moved around at the big-league level in season.”

chris.mcosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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