Detroit Tigers: Five Breakout Candidates to Watch in 2017

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Detroit Tigers
Sep 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman JaCoby Jones (40) and first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Tigers won 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

JaCoby Jones

Age: 24

Position: Center Field

After Cameron Maybin was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Detroit Tigers center field situation became a lot less of a sure thing.

It was probably still the right move to deal the veteran, who was a regression candidate (.383 BABIP in 2016) and expensive. According to Spotrac, Maybin will earn $9 million next season.

JaCoby Jones’ breakout prospects obviously depend on him being able to beat out the likes of Anthony Gose and Tyler Collins for the starting gig.

However, if the former Pirates prospect can earn consistent playing time next season, he could be an intriguing rookie performer for Detroit.

The outfielder brings a rare mix of speed and power and can fill up the stat sheet given close to a full season’s worth of at-bats.

In just 99 minor league games last season, the 24-year-old contributed 44 runs scored, 43 RBI, 20 doubles, 13 stolen baes, seven triples and seven home runs.

In 133 games split between Single-A and Double-A in 2015, the prospect collected 80 RBI, 76 runs scored, 25 doubles, 25 stolen bases, 16 home runs and five triples.

Over the long haul, it isn’t hard to imagine Jones posting a similar stat line in the Majors given his considerable potential.

It is entirely possible that Jones starts making good on that potential next season.