Detroit Tigers: Constructing the Opening Day Lineup for 2021
Batting Fifth-3B Jeimer Candelario
The Detroit Tigers player of the year as voted by the BBWAA and rightfully so with the year the “Candy Man” batting either cleanup or batting 5th.
Defensively, he was worth 2 Outs Above Average, and even with a change to first base, a negative -1 Outs Above Average all things considering that happened after Cron’s injury, the adjustment could have been much worse.
From the fifth spot in the batting order, Candelario produced a slash line of .283/.327/.522 (13-for-46) with an OPS of .925. His numbers with batters in scoring position are where he shined. He hit .327/.389/.408, going 16-for-49.
The number that Tigers fans should be excited about the most was his ISO numbers, which put him above .200 for the first time in his career. Per FanGraphs, his Steamer projections are pretty good, with 24 home runs and 78 driven in with a healthy walk rate of 11.1% and hitting .297.
Candelario could hit clean up too depending on if Detroit signs Cron or not. If he goes back to first and say a scenario that plays out that Isaac Paredes starts the year at third base, I would be fine with this too.
Overall, the mere fact that we having the conservation that Candelario is firmly entrenched in the Tigers’ future is a good one. Per the article in the Freep this morning, it could be possible to have Candelario at first base on the comments from Avila.
“In talking to AJ, he likes flexibility,” “Ideally, probably, third base might be the best thing for (Candelario). I think, also, the ability to play first base is good for him, too.”