Oct 16, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) at bat during game three of the 2012 ALCS against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
5. Alex Avila
I have a hard time calling for offensive improvement from Alex Avila – catchers won’t often put up a 104 wRC+ like he did this past season – but he’s shown the ability to hit even better in the past.
Avila’s on-base skills were as good as ever, he reached at a .352 clip, but he saw sharp declines in doubles and home runs. He lost 159 OPS points from 2011 to 2012, 112 of which came from the drop in slugging percentage.
Again, he wasn’t bad in 2012, but he produced roughly 20 runs fewer with his bat than he had the year before. If he can regain some of that thump, the Tigers’ lineup becomes that much better.