4 Detroit Tigers who are key to a playoff berth in 2022
If the Detroit Tigers have an opportunity for the post-season, these are the four players who will need to help them pave the way.
If you look across the major sports publications online and look at the MLB off-season grades, you will see the Detroit Tigers have fared pretty well. ESPN’s David Schoenfield ($) gave them a “B+.” The only problem he had was the same issue that contributor Jon Erikka, and many other Tigers fans have said and that is, they only went so far and were still $50 million below past payrolls.
That is a fair critique based on the roster construction, but we will circle back to that later. The Sporting News gave them also a “B+” based on lineup still not being “great” and said that Casey Mize had a “decent” first season as a starter. Here are the rest of the grades and a quote from their predictions.
CBS Sports: B “PECOTA has the Tigers projected to finish last in the AL Central, so it’s possible we’re being too kind when we give the Tigers a B.”
Jim Bowden of the Athletic ($): A “The smartest decision the Tigers made this offseason was to let their top two prospects, center fielder Riley Greene and first baseman Spencer Torkelson, try to make the big-league team out of spring training.”
The reason I mentioned the grades in the off-season, even our own we posted last week, are favorable to the Tigers. But we all know that off-season grades are meaningless. Detroit received a “N/A” from CBS Sports last season. With unlikely contributions from Rule 5 pickup Akil Baddoo, the signing of Wily Peralta, and bullpen arms like Kyle Funkhouser, Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto becoming reliable arms when their name was called, Detroit exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Both A.J. Hinch and Al Avila have said they made moves to put the team into playoff positioning. So let’s look at the four players who are going to be key in making this happen in 2022.