5 Detroit Tigers That Could Surprise in 2015

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Sep 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) hits a home run in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

#5: Nick Castellanos

We keep harping on Nick Castellanos this offseason because he has the potential–and the Detroit Tigers really need him to hit that potential–to be very good this coming season and beyond.

We all know the story of his bad, really bad, defensive from a year ago, ranking last in eligible Gold Glove AL third baseman with a -18.8 ranking from SABR’s defensive index rankings. The Tigers worked with him throughout the offseason to improve at the Hot Corner. He can improve, but he’ll never be great there. Ultimately he might be a first baseman or DH, but for now Detroit just needs him to be okay over there and minimize any big mistakes. They didn’t draft Castellanos for his glove.

He has a chance to be a .280 to .300ish hitter with homers in the 20-range annually. The Tigers will probably be happy to see Nick increase his productivity this year to .275, 20 homers and 80+ RBIs with an OPS near .780-.790. (.259/11HR/.700OPS a year ago) with the hopes it climbs even higher in subsequent years.

If he can make the jump this year, that would be even better for the Tigers.