CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (12/02)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/27)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (12/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: I... (12/03)

December 3, 2013

Fantasy Team Preview

Detroit Tigers

by Paul Sporer


It’s hard to label the 2013 season a disappointment for a team that sat just two wins away from the World Series, but when you enter the season as an odds-on favorite to at least make it, if not win it, then anything short of that has at least a tinge of disappointment. The star power helped carry the Tigers to another AL Central Division title and they were once again a big part of awards season, netting another MVP and Cy Young.

It wasn’t a team without flaws, though. A severe lack of flexibility with their offensive pieces was on display throughout the final month and into the playoffs, as Miguel Cabrera seemed to be playing at around 70 percent health, but had to continue manning third base since they were locked in with a full-time DH who was among their best hitters throughout the summer. Any amount of shifting to get Cabrera in at DH or even first base would’ve led to multiple players being out of position.

The Tigers, as has been their MO in recent offseasons, have been quick to address their problem areas and the biggest trade of the Hot Stove so far goes a long way toward fixing the flexibility problem with Prince Fielder headed to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler. This puts Cabrera back at first and now he and Victor Martinez can share duties there to give Cabrera a little breather every now and then. Everyone knew the team wasn’t done with a bullpen that needs work and a surplus of starters, but their latest move was a shocker on the other end of the spectrum.

Projected Lineup

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler
  2. RF Torii Hunter
  3. 1B Miguel Cabrera
  4. DH Victor Martinez
  5. CF Austin Jackson
  6. C Alex Avila
  7. 3B Nick Castellanos
  8. LF Andy Dirks
  9. SS Jose Iglesias

This is what the Tigers have right now, but it is unlikely to be what they enter spring training with as Castellanos is an untested rookie and Dirks doesn’t appear ready for a full-time role. There are a number of ways they could address these positions. Castellanos spent all of 2013 in left field since he was blocked by Cabrera so he could wind up with that role and a third baseman could be brought in via other means. They could also dive into the free agent market for a left fielder, either on the high end, like Shin-Soo Choo, or something much smaller, like a Rajai Davis, who could then platoon with Dirks.

Kinsler to Fielder is an offensive downgrade even accounting for Fielder’s dip in production last year, but the defensive upgrade is even more stark, as Kinsler capably fills an up-the-middle position while Fielder was among baseball’s worst defenders, which is painful even though it came at the least-important spot on the diamond. The deal also seems to spell the end of Jackson as the team’s leadoff hitter. He and Kinsler were virtually equal in 2013 with the primary difference being the strikeout rate. Tigers fans will likely be more pleased by the aesthetics of not seeing the leadoff man fan at a 21 percent clip.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

3 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (12/02)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/27)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (12/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: I... (12/03)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of July 25-27
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, July 28
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bochy and Peavy, Back ...
This is Not Your Father's Baseball Road Trip...
Premium Article The HOF Rule Change
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: July 28, 2014

MORE FROM DECEMBER 3, 2013
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Dombrowski's Puzzling ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Raising of Kazarus...
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents: Before They Were Pros...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Medley of Moves
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Re-Upping Ramirez
Premium Article Minor League Update: International Winter Le...

MORE BY PAUL SPORER
2013-12-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles
2013-12-06 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Granderson Takes the 4...
2013-12-03 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Dombrowski's Puzzling ...
2013-12-03 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
2013-11-27 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Looking for 2014 Surprise...
2013-11-25 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Haren Makeup
2013-11-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
More...

MORE FANTASY TEAM PREVIEW
2013-12-16 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: New York Yankees
2013-12-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles
2013-12-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
2013-12-03 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
2013-11-27 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Cleveland Indians
2013-11-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
2013-11-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Minnesota Twins
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-02-10 - Fantasy Experts Mock Draft