Despite the fact that the Detroit Tigers have some inconsistency on the mound and at the plate, there are a handful of players who have received some recent recognition.
CBS Sports compiled a list of the top 100 players in the MLB as of early May. Fans know that there are several Detroit Tigers who are playing at an All-Star level, but the rankings of some of the Tigers might be a surprise.
The biggest surprise of all is the ranking that the Tigers’ ace pitcher Jordan Zimmermann received. According to this list, he is the best player in the entire MLB. Better than Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Jake Arrieta. Yes, you read that correctly. Better than Jake Arrieta. Despite arguments from Cubs fans, the ranking is realistic – for now.
The other Tigers that appeared on the list were in more reasonable positions according to their abilities. The current AL batting average leader, Nick Castellanos, is ranked in the middle at number 58. His hitting should put him higher, but his fielding holds him back. Near him in the rankings are the home-run-hitting-phenoms Trevor Story and Giancarlo Stanton. Players like Hunter Pence, Jose Bautista, and Joe Mauer are within ten spots of Castellanos.
At this point in the season, it is fair to say that these players have been performing at a clip that is worthy of recognition. It is also notable to see that power hitters like J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera are not on the list. It is also worth noticing that while Ian Kinsler is on the list, his double-play partner, Jose Iglesias is not.
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The list also includes former Tigers pitchers Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. It does not include David Price or Max Scherzer. Even Dallas Keuchel is not on the list. The former AL Cy Young pitchers all seem to be struggling in the early games. Is the Cy Young becoming a curse, like the NFL has with the John Madden cover?
What does all of this mean for the Tigers? In reality, not much. It does pay homage to the outstanding pitching that Zimmermann is continuously giving to the team. But, Dayn Perry makes it very clear that he does not believe Zimmermann can maintain his numbers. As a Tiger fan, it is fantastic to see Zimmermann get the recognition he deserves, since he was the best pitcher in the AL for the month of April.
It is also nice to see players like Saltalamacchia and Castellanos get some recognition for their improved hitting. Will this help Saltalamacchia get more playing time now that James McCann is back from his time on the DL? Probably not, even though his hitting was better than expected in April. It is still an unexpected sight to see Castellanos at the top of the batting numbers in the AL and his consistency has been one of the biggest positives for the team.