Detroit Tigers 2012 Breakdown

Document Sample
Detroit Tigers 2012 Breakdown Powered By Docstoc
					Detroit Tigers 2012
    Breakdown
      By Andy Lee
                                                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
Catcher.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 2
    Alex Avila ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 2
    Prince Fielder ................................................................................................................................................................................ 3
Second Base ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 3
    Ramon Santiago............................................................................................................................................................................ 3
Short Stop ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4
    Jhonny Peralta .............................................................................................................................................................................. 4
Third Base ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4
    Miguel Cabrera ............................................................................................................................................................................. 4
Right Field ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 5
    Brennan Boesch............................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Center Field....................................................................................................................................................................................... 5
    Austin Jackson .............................................................................................................................................................................. 5
Left Field ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
    Delmon Young .............................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Designated Hitter .............................................................................................................................................................................. 6
    Ryan Raburn ................................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Utility Players .................................................................................................................................................................................... 7
    Andy Dirks (OF) ............................................................................................................................................................................. 7
    Don Kelly (3B, 1B, OF) ................................................................................................................................................................... 7
    Brandon Inge (3B, 2B)................................................................................................................................................................... 7
    Gerald Laird (C) ............................................................................................................................................................................. 7
Projected Batting Order .................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Starting Pitchers................................................................................................................................................................................ 8
    Justin Verlander ............................................................................................................................................................................ 8
    Doug Fister ................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
    Max Scherzer ................................................................................................................................................................................ 9
    Rick Porcello ................................................................................................................................................................................. 9
    Fifth Starter? .............................................................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.10
Bullpen ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 10
    Phil Coke ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 10
    Octavio Dotel .............................................................................................................................................................................. 10
    Joaquin Benoit ............................................................................................................................................................................ 10
    Jose Valverde .............................................................................................................................................................................. 11
Summary ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 11
                    DETROIT TIGERS 2012 BREAKDOWN
        It’s every baseball fan’s dream that their hometown team will win the World Series. After our
favorite team is eliminated, and our tears have dried up, we meticulously follow every offseason move,
read up on Spring Training reports and count down the minutes until opening day. There’s a lot of down
time during an MLB offseason and we fans love to spend this time analyzing and projecting how our
team’s fortunes will play out in the upcoming year.

        I’m a diehard Detroit Tigers fan and I’ve decided to analyze the team and tell you why I think
                                                              they will win the 2012 World Series. I will
                                                              break down each starting positional
                                                              player along with key utility guys. I will
                                                              also breakdown each starting pitcher and
                                                              the main guys in the bullpen. I’m going to
                                                              tell you what each player at each position
                                                              should and needs to do in order for the
                                                              Tigers to bring home the trophy come
                                                              October.




CATCHER
ALEX AVILA
Avila busted out in 2011, and in a big way. Saying he had a great year wouldn’t do him justice when you
consider what the expectations were for him coming into 2011. He raised his average from .228 in 2010
to an impressive .295 in 2011. Avila led all catchers in the American League (with a minimum of 400 AB’s
as a catcher) in hits, triples, RBI, AVG, OBP, and SLG, and was top 5 in Runs, doubles and home runs. As
far as full time catchers go Avila was hands down the best offensive catcher in the American League last
season. He’s no schmuck defensively either and he plays as hard as any other catcher in the league. You
can tell this just by watching this guy day in and day out. Unfortunately, this daily grind really wore Avila
down throughout a long season behind the plate. This led to a forgettable .073 AVG and .116 OBP in 41
playoff at bats last year. The addition of a proven backup catcher in Gerald Laird combined with an open
DH slot due to Victor Martinez’s season ending injury should do wonders in reducing the wear and tear
on Alex’s body as the season advances into the hot summer months. Avila is due for some regression at
the plate but by no means is he going to fall off. He is not a one hit wonder and will prove it this season.
The best part about Alex Avila; He’s only 25 years old.

Projection: 140 Games, 70 R, 18 HR, 79 RBI, 3 SB, .279 AVG, .370 OBP
First Base
PRINCE FIELDER
The guy everyone is excited for in Detroit but no one
expected, Prince Fielder. The son of former Tigers
slugger Cecil Fielder, Prince has roots in Detroit. Fielder
is an absolute beast with the bat and a perennial 40
home run candidate. Last season, Prince hit 38 bombs
and had 120 RBI, all while posting a career high .299
average and .415 on base percentage. This was his third
straight season with an OBP over .400. He also limits his
strike outs for a power hitter. Many people think the
switch from hitter friendly Miller Park to the spacious outfield of Comerica will impact his power
numbers, but he’s not the type of player who hits 350 foot wall scrapers, this guy is hitting 400 foot no
doubters. I could go on and on about Prince’s offensive talents but instead I will summarize them with a
simple statement; Fielder is easily one of the top 3 power hitters in the AL. Defensively Prince is average.
Most advanced stats consider him below average defensively but he passes the naked eye test by
making all the routine plays with a few diving stops mixed in. When considering what his bat brings to
the table, his mediocre but consistent defense becomes a non issue. Although some criticize his weight,
no one can criticize his durability. Fielder has played in all but 1 game the past 3 seasons, the most of
any player in that span. Fielder is also known as an excellent leader and personality in the clubhouse. All
in all, Prince Fielder was arguably the best free agent on the market this summer and will have a huge
impact on the Detroit Tigers.

Projection: 162 Games, 104 R, 40 HR, 129 RBI, 2 SB, .287 AVG, .411 OBP




SECOND BASE
RAMON SANTIAGO
Ramon is one of the more interesting parts of this year’s Tigers team. He earned nearly daily playing
time at second base as the season progressed in 2011 and had a solid postseason. He’s doesn’t have
much upside offensively but you know what you’re getting with him. He’s good in the field and that,
ultimately, is why he will get most of the starts at second base this season. The biggest concern with
Ramon is whether or not he will be able to hold up physically under the pressures of a full season’s
work. Since he has never been given the opportunity before, only time can tell.

Projection: 125 Games, 40 R, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 1 SB, .262 AVG, .320 OBP
Short Stop
JHONNY PERALTA
Jhonny Peralta had a monster 2011. He finished third among AL shortstops in home runs, second in RBI
and first in batting average. With 21 home runs and 86 runs batted in, Peralta proved to be a short stop
that could hold his own in the middle of the lineup. That being said, he is due to regress this season. His
batting average took a nose dive over the last 2 months of the season and he will most likely hit closer to
his .268 career average then last year’s .299 average. Speed is not his game, evident by his 0 stolen
bases in 203 career games with the Tigers. Jhonny had the second highest fielding percentage among AL
short stops in 2010 but that stat can be misleading. Although sure handed with the glove, he is limited in
his range. This could be a problem with Miguel Cabrera at third base. I can already imagine the hole
between second and third and I’m sure that same thought has been haunting Detroit’s ground ball
pitchers. Even with all of this, Peralta is still one of the best short stops in the American League.
Between his pop at the plate and his ability to make the routine play consistently, he makes up for his
lack of speed on the base paths and limited range.

Projections: 150 Games, 64 Runs, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 0 SB, .274 AVG, .330 OBP




THIRD BASE
MIGUEL CABRERA
It’s funny how the player most would regard as the best hitter
in all of baseball is the biggest question mark on the team.
Now these questions aren’t due to his offensive skills. Cabrera
led all of baseball in batting average and on base percentage
last season, at .344 and .448 respectively. He scored 111 runs,
had 30 dingers and drove in 105 runs. Miguel is a perennial
MVP candidate due to his eye popping offensive numbers.
The reason he is such a big question mark this year is because
he is switching back to his original position, third base. No one is questioning Cabrera’s willingness to
play third; he calls it his natural position and claims to be excited to go back to it. People are wondering
whether or not he will have the physical tools to play third. Even though he has lost over 25 pounds
already, most think he won’t have the quickness or range to be a big league third basemen. I firmly
believe that with his work ethic and dedication to being a third basemen, Cabrera will be serviceable for
the Tigers in 2012. I’m not saying that he will be good, he may not even be average, but as long as he
isn’t horrible defensively it will be worth having both his and Prince Fielder’s bat in the lineup.

Projections: 162 Games, 115 R, 33 HR, 114 RBI, 2 SB, .329 AVG, .422 OBP
RIGHT FIELD
BRENNAN BOESCH
A local favorite, Boesch has shown flashes of brilliance at the plate. He has also been extremely
inconsistent over his big league career and is yet to show the power potential that many believe he has.
Brennan should benefit from hitting second in the lineup; he will see a lot of good pitches with guys like
Cabrera and Fielder behind him in the order. He also has underrated speed on the base paths with the
ability to steal double digit bags. He isn’t going to hurt his team defensively either. Some say that Boesch
is inconsistent and can’t produce for an entire season while others say that this will be the year he puts
it all together and breaks out. I think he will finish somewhere in the middle of these 2 extremes.

Projections: 150 Games, 88 R, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 11 SB, .282 AVG, .336 OBP




CENTER FIELD
AUSTIN JACKSON
Austin Jackson suffered a big sophomore slump in 2011 after posting a fantastic rookie campaign in
2010. His runs, hits, average and on base percentage all dropped significantly while his strikeout total
jumped up quite a bit. He hit a respectable 10 home runs but it seems he sold out getting on base for
power which is something a leadoff hitter shouldn’t be doing. A guy with Jackson’s speed should be
stealing 30 bases a year easy. You can partially attribute him only stealing 22 to Jim Leyland’s
conservative approach but it also has something to do with him not getting on base enough. Jackson has
a lot he needs to work on if he wants to be an effective leadoff hitter for the Tigers. If he wants to
continue to hit first for the Tigers needs to get on base at a higher percentage than .317 so the great
players behind him can fully reach their potential. The reason Jackson is in the lineup daily is because of
his gold glove caliber defense. He is tremendous in Comerica Park’s enormous center field. He makes
every pitcher on Detroit’s roster look better. It’s not a question as to whether or not he will win a gold
glove, it’s a question of how soon.

Projection: 155 Games, 95 R, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 25 SB, .262 AVG, .330 OBP
LEFT FIELD
DELMON YOUNG
Delmon Young became a Tiger late last
season and provided a nice spark in
the middle of the order. Overall, he
had a rough 2011, mostly due to
nagging injuries and spending half of a
season in an awful Minnesota Twins
lineup. Delmon has shown a little pop
in his career and displayed adequate
power in his time in Detroit. While he
usually has a good average, he’s a
career .288 hitter, he has never drawn a lot of walks which leads to a low on base percentage. Delmon is
also a below average left fielder. He has a good enough arm but he doesn’t get the best jumps or play
the ball in the air very well. Delmon could end up spending a lot of time at DH but I think he will be our
opening day left fielder. He has had an up and down career and it’s hard to predict how he will perform
but I think he can have a good season at the plate in a strong Detroit lineup.

Projection: 145 Games, 78 R, 18 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB, .285 AVG, .323 OBP




DESIGNATED HITTER
RYAN RABURN
Jim Leyland loves this guy. Raburn will play some second base and outfield, and may end up starting in
left over Delmon, but I think he will start the season as the DH. He is notorious for starting slow
offensively. This is illustrated by his .208 batting average before the all star break in 2010 and his .213
batting average before the all star break in 2011. After the all star break is a different story though, he
hit .315 after the break in 2010 and hit a scorching .341 after the break last season. Raburn has a decent
eye at the plate and can hit for some power. Like most of his teammates, he also isn’t going to steal a
relevant amount of bases. Ryan gets a bad name defensively. This has something to do with him not
making a play he should have at the end of the tiebreaking game in 2009 and having a home run bounce
off of his glove last year. He isn’t a plus defender but he isn’t as bad as people make him out to be.
Raburn will get his fair share of at bats and although he will more than likely start slow he should finish
strong and be an important part of our lineup down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Projection: 130 Games, 55 R, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 2 SB, .271 AVG, .331 OBP
Utility Players
ANDY DIRKS (OF)
Andy Dirks is a name most don’t know but could by the end of this season. He is speedy and has some
nice pop in his bat. He’s also a plus defender in the outfield due to his speed. I believe he could not only
end up starting quite a few games in the outfield for Detroit this year but could also contribute quite a
bit in those games.

Projection: 100 Games, 48 R, 12 HR, 38 RBI, 11 SB, .261 AVG, .310 OBP

DON KELLY (3B, 1B, OF)
Don Kelly is a throwback player. He does it all and even though it may not be pretty, he gets the job
done. He’s subpar but not crippling offensively. Defensively his versatility and solid play make him
valuable. He can fill in at a lot of positions and should get his fair share of playing time.

Projections: 100 Games, 34 R, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, .250 AVG, .297 OBP

BRANDON INGE (3B, 2B)
Brandon Inge should not play very often in 2012. He can’t hit anymore and is no longer the defensive
wiz he once was. Leyland will find a way to play him more then he should, maybe by letting him leach
into Santiago and Raburn’s time at second base. I wouldn’t mind seeing Inge come in as a defensive
replacement late in games but he shouldn’t start more than 20 games this season, barring injuries to the
everyday starters.

Projection: 85 Games, 28 runs, 5 HR, 29 RBI, 1 SB, .221 AVG, .290 OBP

GERALD LAIRD (C)
Gerald Laird is back. Although the signing was not a popular one, Laird is a capable backup catcher. He’s
not going to impress anyone with the stick and is nothing more than average behind the plate but he
has been doing it for years and is a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse. The biggest reason this
signing makes sense is because Laird is familiar with the most of the Tigers pitching staff, having caught
them in 2009 and 2010. Laird is by no means someone to get excited over but he’s not going to hurt the
Tigers by giving Avila an occasional rest.

Projection: 30 Games, 12 R, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, .230 AVG, .290 OBP
PROJECTED BATTING ORDER

    1.   Austin Jackson     Right    CF
    2.   Brennan Boesch     Left     RF
    3.   Miguel Cabrera     Right    3B
    4.   Prince Fielder     Left     1B
    5.   Delmon Young       Right    LF
    6.   Alex Avila         Left     C
    7.   Jhonny Peralta     Right    SS
    8.   Ryan Raburn        Right    DH
    9.   Ramon Santiago     Switch   2B


The Detroit Tigers have a very strong batting order from top to bottom. They have an amazing mix of
right handed and left handed batters throughout the order. Jackson needs to get on base at a higher clip
to justify hitting lead off but other than that the Tigers don’t have any big holes in their lineup. They
should be a very productive lineup, challenging for the best offense in the American league.




STARTING PITCHERS
                                             JUSTIN VERLANDER
                                             The AL Cy Young winner and the AL MVP were both on the
                                             Detroit Tigers last season. ”They” were actually the same
                                             person, Justin Verlander. He is going to be back on the
                                             mound, taking the ball every fifth day for the Detroit
                                             Tigers. To say Verlander had an amazing season is an
                                             understatement. He was far and away the best pitcher in
                                             baseball last season. Between a 24-5 record, a 2.40 ERA, a
                                             .92 WHIP and a whopping 250 K’s Verlander posted one of
                                             the best pitching seasons in recent memory. He also
                                             tossed his second career no hitter. Although he is due to
                                             regress some this season, Justin is one of the most
                                             consistent pitchers in baseball and has the ability to
                                             remain the best for years to come.

Projection: 240 IP, 2.58 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 240 K, 20-7 Record
DOUG FISTER
Doug Fister was acquired by the Tigers at the deadline and this was widely regarded as the best pickup
by any team over the summer of 2011. He posted solid numbers but an awful record in Seattle, mainly
due to having the worst run support in the AL during his time there last year. When he came to Detroit
he pitched tremendously and solidified himself as the second best pitcher on the Tiger’s staff. He posted
and 8-1 record to go along with a 1.84 ERA and a miniscule .84 WHIP. Many will say his numbers in
Detroit were inflated due to the poor teams he pitched against but regardless of the team’s record, it’s
incredible to dominate Major League hitters the way Doug Fister did in Detroit. No one can expect him
to maintain the superhuman numbers he put up last year, so he is due to regress some. The biggest
concern for Fister this year is that he is a ground ball pitcher and our lack luster defensive infield will
hurt his numbers. Even with a slight regression and a bad defense behind him, Fister should put up solid
numbers and be a good number 2 starter for the Detroit Tigers.

Projection: 208 IP, 3.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 131 K, 16-10 Record

MAX SCHERZER
Max Scherzer’s success will be vital to the Tigers this year. He posted a good record of 15-9 in 2011 but
had a bad ERA and WHIP, at 4.43 and 1.35 respectively. Scherzer was inconsistent last year; one game
he would look unhittable and the next he would look lost. Luck wasn’t on Max’s side in 2011 and his
peripherals show that his ERA and WHIP should come down this year. He has amazing strikeout
potential and if he can put it all together this year the Tigers will boast one of the best number 3 starters
in baseball.

Projection: 205 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 200 K, 14-8 Record

RICK PORCELLO
It feels like Rick Porcello has been in the Majors forever but he’s still only 23 years old. Porcello was
called up at the beginning of 2009 at age 20 and pitched all year in Detroit. He put together a mediocre
season last year. Porcello really struggled the second time through the lineup and needs to work on
mixing up his pitches more. This is reflected in his 4.75 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Those numbers aren’t awful
for a number 4 starter but Porcello has much more potential than his 2011 numbers show. Like Fister,
the poor defensive infield is going to hurt Porcello and his pitch to contact approach. It would be
optimistic to say he will figure it out this year and have a breakout season since people have been saying
that for 3 years now. I think it’s much more realistic to say that he will become more consistent and
have a better year than 2011.

Projection: 188 IP, 4.22 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 110 K, 14-11 Record
JACOB TURNER
As of right now the Tigers don’t have a fifth starter penciled in yet. They have a plethora of options
between top prospect Jacob Turner, young lefty Drew Smyly, Andy Oliver, Duane Below, and Adam Wilk.
Even though the Tigers could use a lefty in the rotation to mix things up it is most likely they will give the
slot to Turner. He is young and has a very high ceiling and Detroit doesn’t hesitate to give those guys a
shot. Turner has superb control and a handful of plus pitches. He doesn’t have an elite swing and miss
pitch but can still get the job and should only get better.

Projection: 159 IP, 4.02 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 153 K, 11-11 Record




BULLPEN
PHIL COKE
The Phil Coke starter experiment didn’t work out at all last year. Coke got roughed up to the tune of a
4.91 ERA and a 1-8 record as a starter in 2011. After that he got moved to the bullpen and was solid for
the Tigers, posting a 3.46 ERA as a reliever. He was fantastic in August, not allowing a single run. Phil
Coke isn’t an elite reliever and he can be streaky but when he is hot the Tigers have a dependable lefty
they can turn to out of the bullpen.

Projection: 65 IP, 3.71 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 55 K, 4-3 Record

OCTAVIO DOTEL
Octavio Dotel has been all over the league; the Tigers will be his 13th team in 13 years. He’s a veteran
who can be trusted in clutch situations, evident by his 2.61 postseason ERA for the world champion St
Louis Cardinals last year. The Dotel signing flew under the radar but diehard Tigers fans recognize it as
an important addition that solidifies the bullpen.

Projection: 60 IP, 3.29 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 67 K, 4-4 Record

JOAQUIN BENOIT
Joaquin Benoit is one of the better setup men in baseball. After a rough April and May in which he gave
up 13 earned runs in 14.2 innings, Benoit had a tremendous finish to the season allowing only 7 earned
runs in 46.1 innings. Benoit finished with a 2.95 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 63 K’s in 61 IP in 2011. Not as
good as his 2010 season, where he had 1.34 ERA, .68 WHIP and 75 K’s in 60.1 IP. There’s no way he
could have replicated that season but it’s reassuring that he still posted a great campaign in 2011.
Benoit should remain a top end setup man in 2012.

Projection: 62 IP, 2.65 ERA, .98 WHIP, 73 K, 3-2 Record
JOSE VALVERDE
Jose Valverde was the best closer in baseball last year. He was an incredible 49 for 49 in save
opportunities in 2011. Valverde is known for his antics on the mound. The dancing and celebrations
aren’t appreciated by opponents but fans of the Tigers love it. It’s unrealistic to think that Valverde will
be able to convert all of his save opportunities again but he should be an above average closer at the
worst.

Projections: 69 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 65 K, 2-4 Record, 42 Saves




SUMMARY
The Detroit Tigers are in a very good position heading into the 2012 MLB season. They are favored to
repeat as AL Central champs. They took a big hit this offseason by losing Victor Martinez for the year but
the signing of slugger Prince Fielder should make fans forget about that injury. They should have one of
the best lineups in baseball top to bottom. They also have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball
led by AL MVP Justin Verlander. The bullpen should be solid and get the job done, even without young
stud Al Albuquerque for half of the season. The biggest concern for the Tigers this year is their suspect
defense. They will struggle at times to make plays in the field but the strong lineup should compensate
for it. I see the Detroit Tigers winning their division in 2012 and making a nice playoff run that will end in
glory.

Projection: 98-64, World Series Champions

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:101
posted:2/29/2012
language:
pages:13
Description: A 2012 season preview I wrote for the Detroit Tigers