During this decade the American League Central has seemed to produce the best team in the league. In 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the American League champions came from the central division. Also in this current decade there has been the same division champion four different times. From the years 2011 to 2014 the Detroit Tigers won the AL Central.
Despite the recent success of this franchise, the past two seasons the Tigers have been unable to make the post season. The Kansas City Royals won the division and World Series in 2015, and the Cleveland Indians won it and went to the World Series last season. The Tigers still finished 11 games above .500 going 86-75. Both wildcards came out of the east division denying the Tigers of a post season berth. The Tigers have a ton of veterans on the team this season hoping this year they can reclaim their division.
TOP 2017 TIGER PLAYERS
1B, Miguel Cabrera: This veteran first baseman is an 11 time All-Star which is most for any active player. Hank Aaron made the All-Star team 21 teams. The 33 year old Cabrera has a decent shot to break that record. Last season the Tigers first baseman hit 38 home runs and drove in 108 runs. He has 446 home runs going into 2017.
OF, J.D. Martinez – This 2015 All-Star missed 7 weeks of the season a year ago due to an injury. Despite some time missed the young outfielder still managed to hit 22 home runs last season. If Martinez can stay healthy he can be a huge help for the Tigers
OF, Justin Upton– A three time All-Star all appearances were his days in the National League. Upton does not hit for average only hitting .246 in 2016. Justin still brings pop to his bat to help the Tigers and will give you 20 to 30 home runs per season.
SP, Justin Verlander: The ace of the pitching staff for the Tigers, baseball writers were ready to give up on this 6 time All-Star but after a stellar 2016 going 16-9 has put him back in the spot light. The veteran pitcher was also awarded pitcher of the month in July of last season.
SP Michael Fulmer: The 2016 AL Rookie of the year should be the number 2 starter in this rotation. The rookie had 11 wins in his first Major League season.
The bottom three of the Tigers rotation will be led by Jordan Zimmerman, who started 5-0 last April and was the AL pitcher of the month. After April Zimmerman went into a slump that he never came out of, the Tigers are hoping he can return to his April forum in 2017. Detroit also are counting on veterans Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez to provide some more power for the team.
The 2017 campaign will be challenging for the Detroit Tigers. They are going to need to keep up with the defending AL Champs the Cleveland Indians and the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. Detroit defiantly has a ton of power and veteran pitching. The AL Central will most likely be the most exciting division to keep an eye on.