Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 4/10/13
Torii Hunter, driven by his comfortable new surroundings, is locked in at the plate. (BeGreen90, Flickr) When the Detroit Tigers signed Torii Hunter this past November, they knew they’d be getting an excellent clubhouse presence, a world famous defender and an illuminating personality. What they probably didn’t anticipate receiving, however, was a .400 hitter who has looked capable of keeping that torrid pace up. Hunter, a career .277 batter, has started the season off scortching hot. Through the first seven games, he’s hitting .424 with two RBI’s and four runs scored. He’s only had one game without a hit, and in the rest of the games, Hunter hasn’t had less than two. Given the numbers, it’s hard to say which Tiger hitter has been most impressive early in 2013. Prince Fielder has two clutch home runs to his credit, and he’s hitting for average. Miguel Cabrera has been his usual superhuman self, and Austin Jackson is reprising his role as a top table setter. Hunter, though, with his impressive numbers and play might quietly be the best. Another 3-5 performance against Toronto, including a “hitters hitter” at bat in which Hunter shrugged off an 0-2 count to collect his 2,000th career hit, raised more eyebrows yesterday afternoon and built upon his solid start. What’s the reasoning behind all this? Comfort, more than anything. Watching games early, it’s easy to tell Hunter enjoys his surroundings. He’s smiling, gesturing into the dugout after hits and enjoying himself. Hunter’s personality fits this team, and as the season wears on, could truly be the straw which stirs a championship drink. If there was one missing element from the 2012 Tigers, it was a certain bit of effervescence. Early on this season, it’s clear there will be little lacking in that department. Hunter likely won’t continue to hit over .400 all season long, but with Jackson, Fielder and Cabrera hitting around him and a more relaxed approach, it will be much easier for the outfielder to have a higher average than his previous career bests in 2009 (.299) and 2012 (.313). He can also remain a productive force within offensive production, and could end up leading the team in runs scored if his hitting keeps going and his strikeouts stay low near the top of Detroit’s order. Quite frankly, you couldn’t ask for a better baseball fit. While questions about Hunter’s age and defense might surface over the course of two seasons in Detroit and his average may certainly level off a bit the rest of April, there is true value in the role he has already played making the Tigers’ dynamic lineup go while making everyone feel good in the process. It shows others that comfort should count for more than money within free agency decision making processes. Want to see someone satisfied with his surroundings and having fun at work? Just watch Hunter’s next at bat with the Tigers. Not 10 games in, it looks like he’s belonged with these guys for years. When comfort and confidence mix, the personal results can become extraordinary. Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James believes his ‘legacy will speak for itself’

WATCH: Crash at Tour de France sidelines riders

Buehrle drank beer during World Series game he pitched

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Sonnen: McGregor is 27 pounds over his weight limit

WATCH: Connor McDavid turns heads in Oilers scrimmage

Member of Pirates grounds crew swallowed by tarp

Video allegedly shows BYU RB recruit being shot

Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

How the Pacers' new identity will look

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

Five running backs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Roy Halladay snaps selfie while getting a speeding ticket

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Five RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.