Detroit Tigers: Projecting 2017 Opening Day Lineup

benrosener
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 /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
7 of 10
Next
Detroit Tigers
Aug 7, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) at bat against the New York Mets at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Left Field: Justin Upton
Age: 29
2016 Stat of Note: 18 home runs in his last 38 games

By now, you’ve probably heard all about Justin Upton’s up-and-down 2016 campaign.

In his first season in Detroit, the outfielder hit just .226 with a .652 OPS, 13 home runs and 46 RBI in his first 115 games.

However, over the course of the final 38 contests of the season, Upton proceeded to obliterate pitches.

The former first-overall pick showed why he was worth such a large contract down the stretch, with 18 home runs and 41 RBI down the stretch.

He also hit .309 with a 1.162 OPS, keeping the Detroit Tigers in the Wild Card hunt.

Similar to Iglesias, Upton could move up the order and hit second with Cameron Maybin wearing an Angels uniform.

Time will tell just where Upton hits in the lineup, but he probably won’t go through a prolonged cold streak like he did at the beginning of 2016 again.

The first series of 2017 should benefit Upton, who batted .304 with a .913 OPS against the White Sox last season.

In 18 games against Chicago, the left fielder collected 21 hits, 16 RBI, 10 runs scored, four home runs, two doubles, a triple and a stolen base.

Those numbers included 10 games at US Cellular Field, where Upton accounted for three home runs and 12 RBI in 10 games.

facebooktwitterreddit