With MLB Opening Day only 21 days away and spring training games steadily underway, baseball season is right around the corner. Over the next month, we will preview all 30 MLB teams for the 2020 season leading up to Opening Day on March 26th. Next up, the Detroit Tigers 2020 preview. Check out the preview for the Colorado Rockies here.
The Detroit Tigers finished the 2019 season with an abysmal 47-114 record, one of the worst in MLB history. To put it lightly, the Tigers were not good at much last season.
The Tigers had no player hit more than 15 home runs last season in a year where balls were leaving the park at a historic rate. Unsurprisingly, the Tigers finished last in the MLB in runs and 29th in home runs. Jonathan Schoop and CJ Cron were both signed in the offseason and will inject some much-needed pop into the middle of the Tigers lineup. Nicholas Castellanos was traded to the Chicago Cubs at the deadline last season in the continued effort to acquire young talent. Miguel Cabrera’s contract runs through the 2023 season and will hinder any serious rebuilding efforts the Tigers make.
Matthew Boyd was rumored to be on the move at the trade deadline but ended up staying put and struggling in the second half. Spencer Turnbull and Daniel Norris put together solid seasons and according to FIP should be in line for positive regression in 2020. Closer Shane Greene was also traded at the deadline along with Castellanos to bring more prospects into their system.
The real story with the Tigers is their young prospects that could debut in 2020. Casey Mize was the prize of the 2018 draft and will be ready to make his Major League debut in 2020. Mize has a devastating splitter and will look to make an instant impact on the Tigers rotation. Matt Manning, the number two prospect in the Tigers system, is also on track to make his debut in 2020. A mid 90s fastball and a power curve give him a devastating two-pitch mix that an above-average change-up compliments perfectly. Mize and Manning could be the 1-2 punch the Tigers will have on their next contending team.
Joey Wentz, a lefty acquired in the Shane Greene trade, can command all three of his pitches and could compliment Mize and Manning in the rotation. Daz Cameron, son of former big leaguer Mike Cameron, is an exceptional athlete that will man center field for years to come if his bat develops like the Tigers hope it will.
The Tigers will not be a good team in 2020 or for a couple of years after that most likely. The interesting part for the Tigers will be the glimpse of the future they get in 2020. Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Joey Wentz, and Daz Cameron are all part of that future, and they will light up Comerica Park in 2020.
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