Continued Youth Development
Going hand-in-hand with limited veteran regression, for the Detroit Tigers to succeed in 2017, the youth has to continue to get better.
Fulmer has to avoid a sophomore slump. Norris and Boyd, while they shined at the end of the year, need to be more consistent and put together full, successful campaigns.
Aside from Fulmer’s amazing season, the Tiger that was most surprising was Nick Castellanos. He improved at the plate and defensively, and began living up to his lofty expectations. Injury cut Castellanos’ promising season short, missing nearly all of August and September. Had he been on the club during that time, perhaps they just get into the playoffs instead of being just out.
While not really “young” by baseball sense, 27-year-old Jose Iglesias needs to step up. The shortstop has yet to play a full-season in his four seasons in Detroit, missing extensive time to injury each year. Last year saw some regression at the plate and in the field. That must be reversed in 2017.
So, as you can see, a lot–A LOT–has to go right for the Tigers to win in 2017. But, as we’ve seen with other teams, a little health, a little luck, and who knows how far you can go.