Detroit Tigers Rank Highly in MCB’s First Power Rankings of 2017

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Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) reacts after hitting a home run with starting pitcher Daniel Norris (right) against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) reacts after hitting a home run with starting pitcher Daniel Norris (right) against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 19, 2017; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) rounds third on his way to score during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2017; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) rounds third on his way to score during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

#7 Cleveland
2016 Run Differential: +101
Best Offseason Move: Signing Edwin Encarnacion
Worst Offseason Move: Letting Rajai Davis Sign Elsewhere

Cleveland brings back much of the same team that (somewhat inexplicably) went 14-4 against the Detroit Tigers.

However, there is one major exception in that the team signed Edwin Encarnacion.

The now former Toronto standout led the league in RBI with 127 last season while also notching a .357 on-base percentage.

While Encarnacion brings some obvious thump to Cleveland’s lineup, one area where the club could struggle is in center field.

Tyler Naquin was plenty productive last season with a .296 batting average, an .886 OPS, 52 runs scored, 43 RBI, 18 doubles, 14 home runs and five stolen bases.

However, he only logged 40 at-bats against left-handed pitchers. With Rajai Davis now plying his trade in the American League West with the Oakland Athletics, it remains to be seen how Terry Francona and friends will protect Naquin versus southpaws.

Cleveland will have to do some work in terms of finding replacements in the bullpen. Jeff Manship departed in the offseason, while Cody Anderson will miss the campaign due to Tommy John surgery.

This team is still good, but don’t expect the Tigers to lose 14 of 18 to them again.

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