The 2015 Tigers: What Will They Look Like?

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Brian for affording me this great opportunity.  I am excited to write for TPR and hope you the reader will enjoy what we have to offer here.

On Friday, TPR published a 2015 Tigers projection.  That excellent post got ME thinking about where the team would be in three years.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, the author is solely responsible for all projections contained herein, but don’t take them *too* seriously.

So without further ado, I present to you my projections for the 2015 Tigers.

Lineup:

1.  Austin Jackson, CF

I think Jackson’s 2012 season is the tip of the iceberg.  He is a contact hitter, an emerging power hitter, a speedster, and a Gold Glove-caliber defender.  And he’ll be 28 in 2015: entering his prime.  He could be a perennial All-Star.

2.  Avisail Garcia, LF

Garcia will be only 24 in 2015.  We’ve already seen him flash his contact skills, good speed, and plus defense, but I don’t see the 6’4”, 240-pound Venezuelan hitting for a ton of power in the next few years.  I think the middle-of-the-order home run power will eventually come, but for now, I’ll take a guy who posts a line of .290/.335/.435 with 20-steal speed in the number two hole.

3.  Miguel Cabrera, 1B

Miggy will be 31 in 2015 and in the penultimate year of his contract, so theoretically still in his prime as the best hitter on the planet.  Victor Martinez will more likely than not have left Detroit by this time and Nick Castellanos will have been called up, so Miggy will move back to first base (where he is an average defender, but better than Prince).

4.  Prince Fielder, DH

Prince will be the full-time DH in 2015.  Pretty sure of that.  Also pretty sure he’ll still be hitting moonshots, and lots of them.

5.  Alex Avila, C

The real Alex Avila lies between his outstanding, BABIP-fueled 2011 and his injury-plagued 2012, and his line looks something like this: .260/.350/.450 with 20 homer power and plus defense.  As long as his knees hold up, there will be a spot for Avila in the Tigers’ lineup.

6.  Nick Castellanos, 3B

The Tigers’ top prospect and Futures Game MVP, Castellanos ended his 2012 season in Erie.  His combined numbers between Lakeland and Erie are pretty impressive for a 20-year old: .320/.365/.451/.815 with 10 HR and 57 RBI.  He projects as a .300 hitter when he hits the majors, but before that happens, he needs to work on his plate discipline (only 36 walks in 134 games).  When that gets fixed, he will be the Tigers’ everyday third baseman.

7.  Steven Moya, RF

This is the first surprise of the post.  Moya is a 6’7′, left-handed hitting’ beast with Giancarlo Stanton-esque power.  In 59 games with the Whitecaps this season, the 20 year-old broke out, hitting .288 with a .481 slugging percentage and 9 HR in 243 AB.  However, his season ended prematurely when he underwent Tommy John surgery in June.  Still, he should be fully recovered by the start of next season and if he keeps hitting for power, he’ll be in Detroit by summer 2014.

8.  Eugenio Suarez, SS

Oh look, another Venezuelan.  Suarez is expected to be the shortstop of the future in Detroit.  Suarez spent his 2012 with the Whitecaps and hit .288/.380/.409/.789 with 6 HR and 67 RBI.  He also threw in 21 steals and an excellent .971 fielding percentage.  He showed wonderful discipline (65 walks) but struck out 116 times in 511 at-bats.  Expect a summer 2014 call-up.

9.  Hernan Perez, 2B

Perez came up briefly in June when the Tigers were desperate for middle infield help.  He’s not much with the bat (.261/.298/.338/.636 with Lakeland), but he can play second AND short and has good speed (27 steals).

Also look out for:  Daniel Fields (OF), Ben Guez (OF), James McCann (C), Jeff McVaney (OF), Aaron Westlake (1B)

Rotation:

1.  Justin Verlander, RHP

Verlander is a free agent after 2014, but there’s no way the organization can let him walk; the fans and players would never forgive them.  Expect him to be a Tiger virtually for life.

2.  Max Scherzer, RHP

Should his shoulder hold up, Scherzer will become a regular atop the AL strikeout-leader charts.

3.  Doug Fister, RHP

Fister will complete a potential Tigers starting-pitching triumvirate.  His health is an issue, but when he’s on, he can rack up punchouts.

4.  Anibal Sanchez, RHP

I really think the Tigers will make a push to resign Sanchez this offseason, and I think they’ll succeed.  The huge Venezuelan presence on the team and an owner who will spend to win might be enough to convince the enigmatic righty to stay.

5.  Drew Smyly, LHP

Smyly has a mid-90’s heater, a solid cutter, and a nasty slider.  How can you not like a lefty with those three pitches and room to grow?

Also look out for:  Marcelo Carreno (RHP), Casey Crosby (LHP), Drew VerHagen (RHP)

Bullpens are hard to predict, but pay attention to Will Clinard and Bruce Rondon.

Go Tigers.

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5 comments
  1. Michael said:

    I know you are limited to just players in the organization when doing these projections, but no way the Tigers could afford that team. Since JV and Max are both Free agents after ’14, they would cost you about 45-50 million a year. Sanchez would add on another 10-12 mill and Fister would be at around 10 million too after 2014. That is 70 million in your rotation and then another 50 mill for Cabrera and Fielder. Then Jackson and Avila would cost you around 15-18 million. Right there you are at 135 mill for 8 players. Even at the minimum for every other player, you would see about 8-9 mill, but I know some of those relief guys would be arbitration guys too.

    I doubt we keep bother Max and JV after 2014. I think one leaves in free agency, if not traded first.

    • They would take Verlander over Scherzer any day. Not a knock on Scherzer, obviously. I honestly don’t think Sanchez will be that expensive. Same with Avila.

  2. They would take Verlander over Scherzer any day. Not a knock on Scherzer, obviously. I honestly don’t think Sanchez will be that expensive. Same with Avila.

    • Michael said:

      Logically, yes they keep Verlander over Scherzer. However, you do have to wonder if he hits the open market, could they be outbid? Also, Sanchez is making 8 mill this year, so he will probably make 10 mill + in the open market. Avila would have 5 full season under his belt and being league avg. would cost the Tigers about 5+ mill. Jackson would be around 7-8 mill. That is if they don’t suddenly blow up offensively or fall off in the years ahead.

      • No way they are outbid for Verlander. I agree with the rest of your comment.

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