Detroit Tigers Superlatives for the 2022 season:
Most Likely to Succeed (Team MVP): Casey Mize
I think this is the season it all comes together for Mize, going back to my previous prediction. No innings limit or pitch count down the stretch will mean that he should be able to start 30+ games, go 200+ innings, and do exactly what he has always been able to do: get outs. We expect a K/9 around seven; like last year, we will see an excellent season from an excellent pitcher.
Best Offseason Acquisition: Eduardo Rodríguez
E-Rod has a long track record of consistent performance and bad luck. Detroit’s pitcher-friendly confines should be excellent ground for him to put together the all-star caliber season he has always been capable of. Javy Baez and Tucker Barnhart may be solid, but I think none of the new faces put up better numbers than Rodríguez.
Non-Torkelson or Greene Rookie of the Year: Joey Wentz
Look, we know that Tork and Greene are the favorites for the Tigers’ Rookie of the Year; that’s why we need someone different. Wentz will, barring injury, likely see significant time at least out of the bullpen this season. He has four pitches and should be feeling like his old self. He has solid command and can generate a lot of strikeouts. I see Wentz being the next most valuable rookie.
Utility Player of the Year: Harold Castro
Is this a given? Maybe, but I also considered Tyler Alexander and Victor Reyes for this prestigious award, given that they are both utility-type players. However, I am a Hittin’ Harold fan and believe that he will be just about the most useful utility player on this roster. Maybe the .296/.296/.296 line will not be stellar, but it will be helpful for a team trying to scratch across runs however they can.