Today has been a weird day. First, Jonah Hill became an Academy Award nominated actor and, at roughly 2 PM central time, it was announced that the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year, $214 million dollar deal. And all around Twins territory, hearts broke. Babies cried, and everyone, at or above the age of 21 started drinking to drown their sorrows. Because, as we all know, one player a team makes. Clearly.
So, I decided to take a look at the Detroit Tigers starting lineup. One by one and talk about what they are on the field. Just to give everybody a reminder that the Detroit Tigers, even with Fielder and Cabrera still have a lot of issues.
The line up, after the jump.
Austin Jackson. He is a strikeout machine with little power. Sure, he can run and catch baseballs, but he can’t get on base to save his life. His BABIP over the last 2 years has been .369. At some point, that is going to come down, and with a better middle infield in Minnesota this year, we will certainly do our part.
Brennan Boesch. Boesch from me, gets a big old yawn. He has some power, he walks a little bit. Hell. Baseball-refrence.com says the player most similar to him is Matt Murton. Boesch has a career 107 OPS+. He is the very definition of average.
Miguel Cabrera. We all know what Miguel Cabrera can do. He’s good. He’s really, really good. Nothing more needs to be said about him.
Prince Fielder. He’s a stud. He gets on base. He has crazy power. He, like Miguel Cabrera is really, really good, and there is no need to talk about him anymore.
Alex Avila. We don’t really know what to expect out of Alex Avila. Bill James says to expect a batting line around .277/.376/.477 from him. Like Austin Jackson, he’s going to strike out a lot. Also, like Austin Jackson, his BABIP was high last year, at .366. Look for that to come down, once again, especially in Minnesota. With Revere and Span in the outfield, a lot of his doubles will be singles or hard hit outs. And with Carroll and Casilla in the middle infield instead of Casilla, Nishioka, Hughes, Cuddyer, and Plouffe the Twins should be able to convert a lot more of his ground balls into outs.
Delmon Young. Delmon Young is bad.
Jhonny Peralta. Peralta just came off the second best year of his career in 2011. However, over the course of his career he has been nothing but a solid, regular, everyday player who in no way has ever been anything special. He’s always had some power, but he’s never really gotten on base at a spectacular clip or hit an incredible amount of home runs. Since the 2006 season, Peralta has been nothing more than an average to maybe below average player with an OPS+ of 99.
Ramon Santiago. No speed. No patience. No power. He’s nothing to ever worry about.
Brandon Inge. Think of the young career of Ben Revere. He has hit .262/.305/.301 since his debut in September of 2010. That’s 511 plate appearances. The last time Brandon Inge has hit better than that in all 3 categories was in 2004. Inge is the proud owner of a career .305 OBP and an OPS .692.
The Tigers did sign Prince Fielder today. Just like when the Seattle Mariners got Adrian Beltre. Just like how the Red Sox got Adrian Gonzalez last year. Everyone said the Red Sox would win the World Series because of that.
Remember that the Twins couldn't keep a healthy team on the field. How many jokes were made about how we were watching the Rochester Red Wings last year? Those jokes were made ALL YEAR. The only member of the Opening Day 9 who spent no time on the DL last year was Danny Valencia. And remember, as a team, the Twins have gotten much better than they were last year with the additions of Willingham and Doumit.
Let's not freak out. Let's just remember that Prince Fielder is one very good bat, but he is only one bat. He's still on a team with Brandon Inge, Delmon Young, and Ramon Santiago.