The Tigers made over their team this offseason, dealing Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson and allowing Placido Polanco and closer Fernando Rodney to leave via free agency. The franchise cornerstones are still in place, though, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. The new additions give the organization a lot more depth, make the team younger and provide for a bunch of potential sleepers for Fantasy owners.
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Breakout: Scott Sizemore, 2B
The Tigers lose Placido Polanco via free agency and plan to hand the second base job to Sizemore, who has speed and power. We would have considered him a sleeper candidate, but in CBSSports.com's AL-only analyst league, he drew a whopping $19 bid. That makes him more of a breakout than sleeper, we suppose. Few will sleep on this AL Rookie of the Year candidate after he combined for a .308 average, 17 homers, 66 RBI, 88 runs, 21 steals, a .389 OBP, a .500 SLUG (39 doubles) in 520 at-bats in Double- and Triple-A last season. Consider him a nice fall-back pick at the steadily improving second-base position in the latter rounds of mixed leagues, if he slips that far.
Bust: Brandon Inge, 3B
It has to be the former catcher eligibility, but we cannot figure out why Fantasy owners keep putting Inge on their teams. Sure, he is a scrapper and a fan favorite, but he frankly stinks for a corner infield option. You are best off avoiding him in all leagues. He will go for too much even in AL-only formats, most likely.
Sleeper: Ryan Raburn, OF
Raburn is one of those guys that keeps getting overlooked in Fantasy and by his own major league organization. The converted second baseman -- might he compete with Sizemore this spring? -- has pop in his bat, hitting 16 homers in 261 at-bats last year. The Tigers are finally ready to give him a significant amount of at-bats in the outfield or around the infield. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised to see him starting for Inge or Sizemore at third or second before the end of the year. Consider him a great option in AL-only formats and a potential waiver pick-up in mixed leagues if he regains eligibility in the infield.
| ||Pos.|| |
|1||Johnny Damon||LF||1||Justin Verlander||RH|
|2||Scott Sizemore||2B||2||Max Scherzer||RH|
|3||Magglio Ordonez||RF||3||Rick Porcello||RH|
|4||Miguel Cabrera||1B||4||Jeremy Bonderman||RH|
|5||Carlos Guillen||DH||5||Armando Galarraga||RH|
|6||Brandon Inge||3B||Alt||Nate Robertson||LH|
|7||Austin Jackson||CF||Top bullpen arms|
|8||Gerald Laird||C||CL||Jose Valverde||RH|
|9||Adam Everett||SS||SU||Joel Zumaya||RH|
|Top bench options||RP||Ryan Perry||RH|
|R||Alex Avila||C||RP||Phil Coke||LH|
|R||Ryan Raburn||OF||RP||Dontrelle Willis||LH|
|1||Casey Crosby||21||LH SP||Low Class A||High Class A|
|Tommy John survivor is older than Porcello, so the Tigers very well could push him to the majors in 2010.|
|He'll compete to start in center and will impact leagues initially with his steals potential; the power will come.|
|Coming off a broken ankle, but the Tigers are still expecting him to start and play every day at second base.|
|He'll start in a timeshare with Laird, but we see him breaking out and showing pop for most mixed leagues.|
|Speed-and-power threat could be an impact June 1 call-up candidate, if he doesn't win the LF job outright.|
|Best of the rest: Jacob Turner, SP; Andrew Oliver, SP; Ryan Strieby, 1B; Daniel Schlereth, RP; Gustavo Nunez, SS; Daniel Fields, SS; Cody Satterwhite, RP; Cale Iorg, SS; Alfredo Figaro, SP; Casper Wells, OF; Casey Fien, RP; Brooks Brown, SP; Luis Marte, SP; Brent Dlugach, SS; William Rhymes, OF; Jon Kibler, SP; Scott Green, SP; Zach Simmons, RP; Rob Weinhardt, RP; Wade Gaynor, 3B; Edwin Gomez, SS; Austin Wood, SP; Billy Nowlin, DH; Adam Wilk, SP; Brandon Douglas, 2B; Brandon Hamilton, RP; Danny Worth, SS; and Michael Hollimon, SS.|
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