A couple more Detroit Tigers superlatives:
Shortest-Tenured Tiger: Rony García
García has made the opening day roster as a reliever, but I do believe he will be the first one to go. He has a 7.44 FIP in the last two seasons and a 2.9 career HR/9. He might have a path forward as a Tiger, given that he is only 24, but I think it is a battle between him and Jacob Barnes.
Best Catcher: Tucker Barnhart
In the three catcher rotation, the Tigers are running; only Barnhart has the track record and glove to be the everyday guy they can rely upon. I think that even with less power, Barnhart’s numbers will be more consistent and reliable than Haase’s, and I doubt Garneau will see the playing time to be called the best backstop.
Most Underrated Contributor: Javier Báez
Báez has been called nothing but “overhyped” and “overrated ” for the past few years.” Now I believe it has reached a point where he could possibly be underrated when he is a strong .280/.310/.450 hitter. We have a good idea that he is not going to walk and struggle with strikeouts, but he has power and a solid glove at short. His contributions might overshadow his struggles, but I think Báez will impress.
Now, these takes are bound to look somewhere close to dumb by at least May, but overall, I am very excited to see baseball back. Competetive Tigers have returned, and the voice of the turtle rings through the land. Happy Opening weekend, everyone! It’s a great time to be a Detroit Tigers fan.