As you may have read already, we’ve looked at 2017 spring standouts from around the league, as well as how the Top 100 Prospects were faring. Now, with the Tigers being a week away from opening up the season in Chicago, I thought we’d give the team a look and see who has stood out so far.
As you know, the Tigers had the most players of any MLB club on World Baseball Classic rosters this season, so the normal standouts such as Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and so on were on rosters, so their counting stats may not look great. The positive to this situation though is that more players got looks during games than normal, so you’ll see some names that you may not be familiar with here.
Standings don’t matter at all during spring training, but as a reference, Detroit is currently 12-17 in the Grapefruit League. Also stats matter very little, however there are certain indicators that I look at such as average, OPS, homers, hits, and strike outs for hitters, and for pitchers I look at WHIP, average against, strike outs, that can show a path of what is working vs. what isn’t. Again, you can’t read too much in these numbers though.
Stats through (3/26/17)
Alex Presley – Al Avila signed Presley in the offseason after a brief stint with the team last season, and Presley has been arguably the hottest player in camp. In 29 at bats, Alex has hit .414 with 12 hits, 4 runs, 4 doubles, 2 homers, and a 1.243 OPS. He was brought in to compete for the 4th outfield spot and possibly to get some time in center.
Nick Castellanos – Nick had a breakout season last year before losing time to injury, we saw jumps in average, power, and on-base ability. It looks like Castellanos could pick right back up where he left off with a very good spring as he’s hitting .367, with 12 extra base hits (8 doubles/4 HR) in 49 at bats, and 14 RBI, to go with 15 K’s and a 1.201 OPS
JaCoby Jones – There is thought that he will start out in Triple-A Toledo regardless of performance, which will be interesting as he’s hitting .341 in 41 at bats, with a double, triple, and 2 homers, with a .961 OPS
Andrew Romine – Romine has been a jack of all trades, playing all over the field while guys were away playing at the WBC. He’s hitting .333 with 7 extra base hits and a .883 OPS
From a pitching standpoint there are some very positive standouts…
Justin Verlander – Being his normal JV self, .183 batting average against in 22.2 innings, with 16 K’s and a 0.93 WHIP. If there is a negative, it’s the 3 homers, but the way the wind whips down there, who knows how the ball would fly elsewhere
Matt Boyd – Fighting for the 5th rotation spot, Boyd has a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings, with 21 K’s, NO walks, and a 1.06 WHIP. If we had to find a negative, it would be the .274 average against
Sandy Baez – Baez just has 7 innings of work in (5 appearances), but has a .167 average against and a 0.86 WHIP, to go with 9 K’s
Daniel Norris – A break out candidate from numerous experts, Norris is having a solid spring, where he has a .234 average against, 1.17 WHIP, and 15 k’S in 18 innings
Anibal Sanchez – Yes, I am putting Anibal here with his bloated 5.03 ERA, as he has had what we are hoping is a breakthrough in his mechanics as Sanchez has had 3 solid innings and has become a strikeout machine (20 K’s in 19.2 IP)
Alex Avila – He’s hitting .139 in 36 at bats and has 15 strike outs
Steven Moya –Hitting .191 with 9 K’s
Mikie Mahtook – Hitting .213 with 15 K’s
Tyler Collins – Hitting .220 with 10 K’s
Joe Jimenez – Many were hoping that the highly touted prospect would be in the pen to start the season, but it’s not looking that way as he’s be reassigned after 2 innings
Shane Greene – Has thrown 9 innings (9 appearances) and been hit hard, with a .278 average against and holding a 1.44 WHIP
Jordan Zimmerman – When all was sounding very positive with the rotation, we have to talk about Jordan who has a 8.74 ERA in 11.1 innings, with a .306 average against, and a 1.68 WHIP to go with just 6 K’s, and 4 walks. Let’s just hope he’s getting comfortable with his neck and figuring things out.