#8 Detroit Tigers
2016 Run Differential: +29
Best Offseason Move: Acquiring Mikie Mahtook
Worst Offseason Move: None
We now arrive at the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Yes, the Detroit Tigers rank eighth in our first power rankings of the year.
If everything goes to plan, the Tigers could very well end 2017 with a championship celebration.
For that to happen, a few things will need to happen for Detroit.
First, and perhaps most importantly, the rotation will have to perform.
Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer were excellent last season, while Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd showed they have the potential to be extremely effective Major League starters.
If all four can continue to thrive in 2017, it will go a long way towards the Tigers returning to the postseason.
However, the most important player on the roster may just be Jordan Zimmermann.
If the former Washington Nationals starter can showcase the form he showed in the National League East, Detroit will have a rotation able to stack up with the league’s best.
On offense, the Tigers remain essentially the same.
Cameron Maybin is gone, but JaCoby Jones has impressed so far in Spring Training and could very well replace his former teammate as Detroit’s sparkplug.
Otherwise, the likes of Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, Nick Castellanos, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez will continue to destroy baseballs and score runs in bunches.
The playoffs and beyond look like a real possibility this year.