Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Projecting 2017 Opening Day Lineup

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Apr 8, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) is introduced before the game on Opening Day against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) is introduced before the game on Opening Day against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Jul 7, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann (34) makes hand gestures to his teammates in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /

Catcher: James McCann
Age: 26
2016 Stat of Note: 7 rSB

One of a number of easy choices, James McCann enters 2017 as the Detroit Tigers starting catcher.

The 26-year-old spent 2016 in the same role and flourished from a defensive standpoint.

McCann led all Major League catchers in rSB and finished third with a DRS of nine.

What’s more, the former second-round pick threw out 45% of would-be base stealers.

An offensive breakout, or at least improvement could be coming for the catcher.

Last season, McCann posted career highs in ISO (.137), home runs (12), RBI (48) and walk percentage (6.2%) despite a .283 BABIP and 52 less plate appearances.

In 2016, McCann was one of eight different Tigers, and one of seven starters, to reach double-digit home runs last year.

Expect a repeat performance from the player after turning in improved power numbers during the previous campaign.

There’s potential for the backstop to get off to a solid start at the plate in 2017 against Chicago.

Of all the Major League franchises, McCann only has more hits, runs scored, home runs and against the Minnesota Twins.

What’s more, McCann has favorable career numbers against members of the White Sox’ rotation.

Detroit’s catcher has collected a walk, pair of hits—including a home run—and two RBI against Carlos Rodon.

Versus James Shields, McCann has collected two RBI in just three plate appearances.

The sample sizes are admittedly small, but it bodes well for James McCann’s offensive production early in the season.

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