Left Field: Christin Stewart
It’s time for Stewart to be an everyday player with the Detroit Tigers. His 17 game cameo went better than expected, and while he is defensively challenged his improved plate discipline and incredible power make him a worthwhile investment as the everyday left fielder in 2019.
Center Field: JaCoby Jones
Jones will take the reins in center field after demonstrating elite defense last season. He still has strikeout issues and only managed a .207 average, but his defense and tools (11 HR and 13 SB) should make him a fun part of Detroit’s team in 2019.
Right Field: Nicholas Castellanos
I toyed with the idea of the Tigers trading Castellanos, but I think we will see him around again patrolling right field next year. Coming off another excellent season, improved defense and a slight uptick in power could make him an All-Star next year – and would greatly improve his trade value.
Fourth Outfielder: Dustin Peterson
The Tigers will have a healthy competition for their last outfield spot. Mike Gerber, Victor Reyes and Jason Krizan will compete with Peterson – and that’s assuming the team non-tenders Mikie Mahtook. Peterson hit .268 with 11 home runs for Triple-A Gwinnett last year before the Tigers claimed him from the Braves. I think he will carve out a nice role for the Tigers and could eventually challenge for a starting role as well.
Designated Hitter: Miguel Cabrera
If the Tigers want to get some production out of Miggy while his contract is still on the books, they need to make him their full-time designated hitter. There is still plenty of life left in his bat, and a full season without touching the field could allow Miggy to produce his usual 25-30 home run pop with a nice slash line. This will be one of the most fun storylines to follow next season.
For fun, here’s a potential batting order:
1. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
2. Nicholas Castellanos – RF
3. Miguel Cabrera – DH
4. Christin Stewart – LF
5. Niko Goodrum – 2B
6. Logan Morrison – 1B
7. James McCann – C
8. Jose Iglesias – SS
9. JaCoby Jones – CF
BE: John Hicks, Ronny Rodriguez, Dustin Peterson