Detroit Tigers: Previewing the 2018 lineup

mgilpatrick
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 15: Jose Iglesias #1 of the Detroit Tigers hits a rbi double in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 15: Jose Iglesias #1 of the Detroit Tigers hits a rbi double in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Leading off: Shortstop Jose Iglesias

The past couple seasons, the leadoff spot has been filled with Ian Kinsler. His trade to the Angels left a void that should be filled by Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias has been a mainstay in the Tigers lineup since he came from Boston in 2013. Since then, Iglesias has been a consistently good fielder, and a respectable bat. While known for flashing the leather, Iglesias is a contact hitter that isn’t afraid to steal the occasional bag.

The projections have him hitting .266/.314/.688, with seven home runs and 44 RBI. While the numbers may not jump off the page, he’ll likely lead the team in steals.

While there are others with higher OBPs and batting averages, Jose Iglesias does have an advantage: speed.

Iglesias is quick enough to score from second on a bloop single. He can touch home on a short SAC Fly. He’s the run manufacturer needed at the top of the order.

He’s inexperienced at the leadoff spot. Iglesias has started five games in the leadoff slot, though is familiar with the top of the order. He’s batted second in 47 games over his career. And when batting ahead of Cabrera, he’s hit .276, and has reached base 30.8 percent of the time.

The 28-year-old is reaching the prime of his career. He’s ready to take over the void left by Ian Kinsler.

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