Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario
Jeimer Candelario lead the team in WAR last season with 3.8 last season and lead all of baseball with 42 doubles. That total is 31st among Detroit Tigers history and 20th highest by an infielder.
What was more impressive was the fact he was among the top 30 players in all of baseball in Swing/Take, a stat that determines the value of every pitch based on its outcome in the four attack regions. The heart, shadow, chase and waste. He had 29 on the season.
What does that mean? His patience at the plate and making contact at chase pitches were above league average. Even pitches in the heart of the zone, he connected at a high clip.
The reason I put Candelario on this list is that if he can continue to grow as a player this season and turn the doubles into home runs, that could put him into All-Star consideration and raise his profile in MLB. There are a lot of Tigers fans who like Candelario because not only he is a good player but a good teammate as well.
His average exit velocity was under 90 last season, but it does not paint the picture of Jeimer in terms of the doubles he hit. He averaged 96.1 exit velocity on his doubles, with 3 of those doubles were over 400 feet at Comerica Park.
When you look at the spray chart, you can see those could put Candelario over 20 home runs last season. That is a minor flaw, but hitting more homers could put Jeimer into another category among infielders in the American League. His defense last season had a minor setback (-9.2 in UZR/150) compared to the 2019 season (6.3)
He is often overlooked, but with a few more home runs this season, those days may be over.