Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Potential 2017 Rookie of the Year Candidates

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Aug 30, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman JaCoby Jones (40) at bat against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman JaCoby Jones (40) at bat against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) warms up during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Joe Jimenez
Position: Relief Pitcher
Age: 22
Throws: Right-Handed

Once again, Jimenez and Jones stand out as the most likely candidates given their upside and comparatively easy paths to playing time.

Whether one or both of the duo makes Detroit’s Opening Day roster remains to be seen, but they could contribute later in the season.

Despite a crowded bullpen, Jimenez could eventually pitch his way onto the Major League squad.

As it is, Brad Ausmus doesn’t have too many relievers to call on with swing-and-miss type stuff.

Only Justin Wilson, Shane Greene, Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Lowe finished with more than eight strikeouts per nine innings last season.

Jimenez, meanwhile, has punched out 13 batters per nine innings in his minor league career.

With the exception of Rodriguez, the aforementioned relievers all struggled at some point in 2016.

Adding Jimenez and his ability to miss bats to the group could give the Tigers’ bullpen a significant boost.

Considering the pitching prospect isn’t likely to immediately come in and become the club’s top setup reliever, he may not be able to make much of an impact where the Rookie of the Year voting is concerned.

However, stranger things have happened, and Jimenez certainly has the talent to succeed.

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