CLEVELAND - Nook Logan's major league career is still idling along in first gear.
But in Detroit, where the speed produced by a motor really counts, the Tigers' 25-year-old switch-hitter is fast becoming a big story.
Yes, he's got a Hemi in there.
"He's by far the fastest player I've ever played with at any level," Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. "I think he's the fastest guy in the majors, period."
When it comes to blazing speed and long strides, many compare Logan to Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford.
Tigers manager Alan Trammell said the only two speedsters who are comparable to Logan are Devon White and Willie Wilson.
"Nook is arguably the fastest player in baseball," Trammell said. "I think he might be faster than Crawford. He is so quick, it's unbelievable."
This season has been a blur for the speedy Logan.
He got off to a fast start with the Tigers in spring training, but then hit a slump as the team was about to break camp.
Logan ended up being one of the last guys to earn a roster spot, beating out Alexis Gomez for the backup position in center field.
Speed and defense ultimately earned Logan a shot with the Tigers.
A little luck didn't hurt, either.
Truth be told, Logan became the Tigers' starting center fielder mostly by default.
He got a chance only after high-priced free agent Magglio Ordonez was sidelined with a hernia, and overpaid Bobby Higginson and Mud Hens call-up Marcus Thames failed to produce.
Trammell hasn't even thought about giving Nook the hook.
In fact, Trammell indicated last night that Logan, a converted shortstop who has only 60 games of major league experience under his belt, will be his center fielder for the foreseeable future.
It's hard to argue with that call.
Since debuting as the Tigers' starter on April 17, Logan is batting .440 with 11 hits in 25 at-bats.
Three of his hits have come on bunts.
Logan is proving to be a tough out.
He carried a nine-game hitting streak into last night's game against the Cleveland Indians, which was called off due to rain.
If Logan continues to hit the way he has been from the
No. 9 spot in the batting order, he could eventually move to the leadoff position.
"It's my game, to put pressure on the opposing team and make them try to get me out," he said. "I try to get on base every at-bat and then the goal is to steal second. I try my best to distract the other team. I want them to be thinking about me all the time."
A year ago, Logan spent the majority of the season patrolling center field for Triple-A Toledo, where he led the International League in stolen bases with 38.
He had two stints with Detroit.
He proved to the Tigers that he can flat-out fly, whether it be on the bases or in the outfield.
Since taking over in center, Logan has covered plenty of ground and made a few highlight-reel catches.
He also has forced Craig Monroe, the opening day starter, to move to right field, replacing Ordonez.
Logan's speed has given the Tigers a much-needed spark. They can't wait until he kicks it into overdrive.
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