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Detroit Tigers: Three Potential Top of the Order Combinations Without Maybin

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Apr 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) and left fielder Justin Upton (8) congratulate each other after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) and left fielder Justin Upton (8) congratulate each other after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) runs the bases against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Scenario #3 Ian Kinsler Leeds Off, JaCoby Jones Hits Second

Outside of inserting Iglesias and Upton at or near the top of the lineup, there aren’t many perfect fits. J.D. Martinez is an obvious fit, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the outfielder traded this offseason.

Anthony Gose’s speed would play well in terms of setting the table, but he goes down on strikes (37.6 strike out percentage) too often.

The same strikeout tendencies would likely keep batters like Steven Moya (38 strikeout percentage) and Tyler Collins (25.2 strikeout percentage) out of the second spot.

That doesn’t leave too many options.

Wynton Bernard would certainly be an intriguing option given his speed and on-base skills. However, he isn’t currently on Detroit’s 40-man roster.

That leaves Jones.

If he can keep his strikeouts down, which is entirely possible, the 24-year-old could be a fit.

So far, in an admittedly small sample size, Jones has shown signs of improvements in regard to the strike zone. In 13 Arizona Fall League games, he’s turned in an 18.2 strikeout percentage that is well below his 42.9% average in the minor leagues.

If he can continue to cut down on the punch outs in Spring Training and in the regular season, the sky is the limit.

Additionally, Jones could get plenty of pitches to hit in front of Cabrera. That certainly wouldn’t hurt in his rookie season.

Next: Tigers Deal Maybin for Intriguing Pitcher With Serious Upside

The outfielder could also cause problems for opposing pitchers on the base paths. In his short stint with the Tigers this season, Jones turned in a 0.7 BsR number. That stat could increase significantly given a full season’s worth of playing time.

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