July 11, 2012; Reading, PA USA; Erie SeaWolves infielder Jordan Lennerton (37) watches his flyball during AA Eastern League All-Star game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Eastern Division defeated the Western Division, 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Depth Level: Fair
40-man option: Jordan Lennerton (AAA)
The Tigers don’t have any options in the minors besides Lennerton at first base, but that’s still okay for depth purposes because of how unlikely it is that they’ll need anyone else (or even Lennerton for that matter). Victor Martinez could play a lot of first base if anything happened to Miguel Cabrera, so the Tigers wouldn’t even necessarily need a first baseman to fill in. That being said, Lennerton might be the best minor league hitting option anyway.
Lennerton participated in the Futures Game last summer during the All-Star break, but his age (he’ll be 28 in February) means he doesn’t fit the prospect profile. Still, he’s hit fairly well at every level and probably wouldn’t embarrass himself in the major leagues. He’s shown some good on-base ability (.382 OBP in AAA last year) and has good (but not massive) power. It’s unlikely that he could jump to the show and be even an average hitter, but he’d probably be a better play than Don Kelly if Detroit needed to survive a 15-day DL stint from either Cabrera or Victor.
Lennerton couldn’t replace Cabrera’s production – no one could – but I think he’d be an above-replacement (though decidedly below average) if he was asked to play a stint or two in the major leagues.