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Quintin Berry expected to compete for spot with Tigers next year

After a frustrating finish to the season, Tigers' outfielder Quintin Berry will hope to retain his role with the team next year.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

An early season spark plug for Jim Leyland's team in 2012, Detroit Tigers' outfielder Quintin Berry is expected to once again compete for a roster spot next season alongside a handful of names at his position.

The 27-year-old Berry finished the season with a .258 average and 21 stolen bases, but hit just .176 in August and .222 in September after a red-hot spring. Although he was eventually held out of the lineup altogether against left-handed pitching, Berry's effort level in his first big-league season clearly impressed general manager Dave Dombrowski and the organization.

"He's a guy that we look to compete for a spot on our club," Dombrowski told Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2 Detroit. "How much playing time he gets, we'll see."

Berry's contributions in the early stages of 2012 are impossible to ignore, but he faces stiff competition from a handful of younger players in order to keep his role on the team. Along with Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch and Avisail Garcia, the Tigers are also expected to test out top prospect Nick Castellanos in the outfield this season. Berry's speed on the bases could help give him an edge, but he will need to be much more consistent from the plate in order to prove to the coaching staff he belongs.