November 16, 2012
When Dave Dombrowski and Mike Illitch went out and got Prince Fielder, the expectations for the Tigers were nothing less than winning a World Series Championship. They were picked to win the AL Central by 8 to 10 games. They ended up winning the division by just 3 games. Now, with the signing of former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, is it fair to say the Tigers will win the division by 16 to 20 games? Probably not; But anything less than a second straight trip to the World Series will be considered a blunder.
With that, here are 5 things the signing of Torii Hunter does for the Tigers:
1. Better Hitting
In the outfield, the majority of the Tigers’ hitting came from Austin Jackson. Right field was a weakness all season, where the batting average was just .235.
2. More Experience
Brennan Boesch has only played 2 seasons in the majors, while Andy Dirks was a rookie last season. The Tigers can now ease them into the majors as a platoon while letting Hunter mentor them for the next two season.
3. Number 2 Man
Hunter will cement the number 2 spot in the batting order. He will be more consistent than Quintin Berry and Omar Infante. Another consistent hitter ahead of the Tigers’ 3-4 hitter will only make Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder harder to handle.
4. Better Defense
Hunter was a Gold Glove outfielder in 2009. Couple that with the inconsistent play of corner outfielders last season, and Hunter will easily improve Detroit’s defense. There is a lot of ground to cover at Comerica Park, and the combination of Hunter and Jackson will give the Tigers’ pitchers an advantage at home.
With all the ups and downs last season, hopefully somebody like Hunter can bring some guidance to make the team more consistent night in and night out.
The addition of Torii Hunter was a great move. The Tigers were not consistent in the regular season and as a result, they had to make a late rally to catch the White Sox. This addition should fix that issue and make the Tigers a more dominant force. My early-early prediction is that the Tigers will win the division by 7 games, and make it back to the World Series.
March 27, 2012
My league had our MLB fantasy baseball draft recently. As always, I got some of the guys I wanted and missed out on a few as well. But since my draft has come and gone I don’t have to worry about the other guys in my league knowing who I want on my team. Therefore, I will give you a rundown of what my ideal team would look like. It’s not like I had much to worry about, anyway. Chances are none of those guys would have seen this since most of them can barely even read. (Bazinga!) Trash talking your league members is one of the best parts of a fantasy league. Anyway, here’s who I would realistically try to take going by the average draft position on the site my league uses.
Round 1 Miguel Cabrera, 1B
I want my first pick to be a sure thing. Cabrera has put up an average of .320 batting average with 33 home runs, 115 RBI and 102 runs for the last eight years. That’s as much of a sure thing as you will find.
Round 2 Carlos Gonzalez, OF
Again, I want a sure thing if I can get it. Gonzalez has had at least 25 home runs, 20 steals, 90 runs and 90 RBI to go with a .295 average for the last two seasons. He is the real deal.
Round 3 Jose Reyes, SS
Here’s a guy who has led the league in steals and in batting average. Reyes joins a Miami team that has loaded up on talent and brought in Ozzie Guillen to manage. Guillen had the White Sox running a lot and he should do the same in Miami.
Round 4 Michael Bourn, OF
Just in case Reyes isn’t 100 percent healthy and his steals come down again, adding Bourn will make up for it in a hurry. You can pencil him in for 50 steals and he gives you a solid batting average as well.
Round 5 Zack Greinke, SP
Greinke will be nearly as good as the biggest name pitchers in baseball but will cost you a much lower pick to get him.
Round 6 Carlos Santana, C
There aren’t a lot of great catchers so if you get one of them you will have a big advantage at at least one position.
Round 7 Carl Crawford, OF
If Crawford is still available in the 7th round you better jump on him. He had injury problems last year and was a big disappointment. I believe he will bounce back big time.
Round 8 Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Here’s another guy who had a disappointing year in 2011 and should be better in 2012. Youkilis could end up being a steal.
Round 9 Brian Wilson, RP
This guy is awesome. I want Wilson on my team regardless of what he does on the field but it just so happens that he can pitch.
Round 10 Josh Johnson, SP
Because of his injury history this is a high-risk, high-reward pick. Go for it. You aren’t playing for third place are you?
Round 11 Matt Garza, SP
I’m a Cubs fan. I always need a Cub. I choose Garza.
Round 12 Heath Bell, RP
He’s going to a better team which will hopefully translate into more saves.
Round 13 Brandon Beachy, SP
He averaged almost 11 strikeouts per nine innings last year.
Round 14 Torii Hunter, OF
Round 15 Ryan Roberts, 2B
You are going to have a weak spot somewhere. This is mine. And it’s not that bad.
Round 16 Emilio Bonifacio, SS
I love guys that can play multiple positions because they provide lineup flexibility.
Round 17 Josh Willingham, OF
Not a guy people will be desperate to get, but always gives you at least 20 long balls.
From this point on in the draft, grab as many high-upside players as you can. If they don’t pan out, you can always drop them and find someone else.