Scenario #1 Jose Iglesias Leads Off, Ian Kinsler Hits Second
While Kinsler enjoyed a fine season as a leadoff hitter, he won’t experience too much—if any—drop off by moving down a spot.
Iglesias may seem an odd choice for the leadoff spot given his .306 on-base percentage and .283 wOBA in 2016, but he could succeed there.
The shortstop has certainly flashed the potential to hit atop the lineup before. Iglesias hit .303 and .300 during the 2013 and 2015 seasons respectively. What’s more, his on-base percentages during those two seasons were .349 and .347.
Even if his batting average hovers around .250 again, Iglesias is still an excellent choice for the leadoff spot. The reality is that leadoff hitter is only the first batter of the game once. It’s just one at-bat.
Deploying Iglesias as the first batter could work for the Tigers, especially considering the shortstop ability to make contact.
Out of all qualified hitters, Iglesias was the hardest batter to strike out in the American League with a league-low 9.7 strikeout percentage. Additionally, the 26-year-old has a knack for grinding out long at-bats and making the opposing pitcher work.
If he can do that as the first batter in the game, it will go a long way towards Detroit’s offense eating into opposing bullpens and winning games.