How Will The Detroit Tigers Defense Be In 2018?

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving attempt but was unable to catch a hit by Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning during of their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: JaCoby Jones #40 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving attempt but was unable to catch a hit by Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning during of their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 22: Robbie Grossman #36 of the Minnesota Twins is tagged out by third baseman Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after getting caught in a rundown between second base and third during the fifth inning at Comerica Park on September 22, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 22: Robbie Grossman #36 of the Minnesota Twins is tagged out by third baseman Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after getting caught in a rundown between second base and third during the fifth inning at Comerica Park on September 22, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Third Base

Third Base will be manned by Jeimer Candelario, the man who started the Detroit Tigers first triple play since 2001. Candelario is an average defender at third, but he has worked very hard on becoming a much better third baseman. He has a slightly above average arm and quick hands. Candelario will never be mistaken for a Nolan Arenado, but his defense will not be a detriment to the Tigers.

Shortstop

At shortstop, at least for now, is Jose Iglesias. Iglesias SHOULD have a Gold Glove, but he at least has been in the voting. As Tigers fans, we all know that Iggy is a fantastic defender. Iglesias was worth +3 DRS in 2017 and he had a UZR of 8.6 in 2017. Expect much of the same until he is, more than likely, traded.

Second Base

Second base will be manned by Dixon Machado, that is until Iglesias is traded and he will shift to shortstop. Machado’s defensive numbers in the majors are nothing to write home about, however he does have a career UZR of 2.2 and his scouting grades were both 60 at fielding and arm strength which is above average. Many compare Machado to his teammate Jose Iglesias in both batting and fielding. If those comps are true, expect some flashy plays at the keystone in 2018.

First Base

Of course first base will be manned by Miguel Cabrera. Even though Cabrera should be at designated hitter, Victor Martinez is still under contract for 18 million dollars. Miggy has always been scrutinized by advanced fielding stats, but Cabrera does have a career UZR of 2.6 and he is known for his strong throwing arm. With Cabrera getting older, his defense will probably start to suffer sooner rather than later.

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