5 Detroit Tigers MVP Candidates for 2015
By Matt Pelc
Jun 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) receives congratulations from third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) after scoring in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
I am expecting a very solid sophomore campaign from Nick Castellanos. He has done everything right in the offseason to get himself better defensively, but here’s the thing, he doesn’t have to be great at third base.
He can be average or adequate there and the rest of the Tigers’ infield is solid enough to raise his game enough to be successful. Where Detroit needs him to thrive is at the plate, which is why they drafted him and have moved him around on the diamond–they want that bat to live up to expectations.
Castellanos hit .259 with 11 homers and 66 RBIs with a OPS of .700. I predict those numbers to increase to .275, 20 homers and 80+ RBIs with an OPS near .780-.790. If he can exceed those numbers, he can be extremely valuable to the Tigers.
V-Mart’s roller coaster offseason went up after signing a four-year, $68 million, likely finishing his career where he wanted, with the Tigers. Then he suffered a torn medial meniscus in his left knee and the worst was feared, but the surgery was relatively minor and his timetable for return is around Opening Day.
Victor Martinez had an MVP-caliber season last year but the anti-DH stance cost him. It would have been hard for V-Mart to duplicate his efforts from a year ago had he been healthy throughout the offseason, so a league-wide MVP season would have been extremely unlikely. However, he still has the potential of being the best Detroit Tigers’ player, just like he was in 2014.
Even if he comes back on or around Opening Day, the bat speed and power likely will not be there right away. V-Mart has surprised us a lot during his tenure in Detroit so there is no reason he cannot have another solid year once he’s up and running for 2015.