Detroit Tigers: Alex Avila, Michael Fulmer, Justin Upton should be All-Stars
Detroit Tigers fans have seen an up-and-down season so far. That being said, there are a number of players who could represent the team at the upcoming MLB All-Star Game.
Detroit Tigers players may be shut out of the All-Star Game starting lineup when the game is played in the coming weeks.
Major League Baseball’s Public Relations Twitter account released the latest voting update in a tweet on June 26, and Miguel Cabrera was the only Tiger with a shot at starting via the fan vote.
However, the first baseman is in fourth place in terms of the voting at his position. Yonder Alonso, Justin Smoak and Eric Hosmer are all ahead of Miggy in the voting.
While no other Tigers show up on the voting update, the team has a trio of players who should be surefire All-Stars.
Leading the way is catcher Alex Avila.
Originally signed to split time or back up James McCann behind the dish, Avila has been one of the best offensive catchers in baseball.
Only Buster Posey has a higher WAR than Avila’s 2.4 number among backstops.
Additionally, in terms of catchers with at least 190 plate appearances, Detroit’s veteran leads the way in ISO (.268), slugging percentage (.579), on-base percentage (.432), wOBA (.426) and wRC+ (169).
Avila is also second in walk percentage with a 17.1 number that is only just bested by Russell Martin’s 17.3 stat.
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The Detroit Tigers’ catcher also third in batting average with a .311 clip.
Detroit’s second All-Star should undoubtedly be Michael Fulmer.
Fulmer has been Detroit’s ace this season, and one of the best starters in baseball.
His 6.90 strikeout-per-nine innings rate won’t win him any awards, but the reigning American League Rookie of the Year has been outstanding in shutting down opposing lineups.
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On the season, Fulmer owns a 3.19 ERA and a 2.94 FIP.
His 50.3 ground ball percentage currently ranks 13th in the Majors, while the starter’s 3.1 WAR ranks only behind Chris Sale and Max Scherzer among starting pitchers.
Among American League starters, Fulmer’s checks in at second in WAR and fourth in FIP. He’s also allowed the fewest home runs per nine innings in the junior circuit with a 0.35 number.
Rounding out Detroit’s list of should-be All-Stars is Justin Upton.
The slugging outfielder, and the Detroit Tigers’ offense in general, has produced some encouraging numbers since moving up in the order to the third spot.
On the season, Upton is sporting a 2.0 WAR, a 125 wRC+, a .351 on-base percentage and a .233 ISO.
Overall, he ranks fifth among American League outfielders in ISO, eighth in wRC+ and wOBA, ninth in WAR and 15th in on-base percentage.
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Upton has also been serviceable defensively, notching an 8.9 UZR/150, a 3.6 UZR and a RngR of 6.0.