Detroit Tigers: 3 under-the-radar players who will help most in 2024

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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Full squad workouts are underway down in Lakeland. Everyone has been accounted for for the Detroit Tigers. Pretty soon, we'll be watching Tigers games on our TVs again. We can't wait.

Before we do that, we have to go over what we have here and who could be in for a breakout season, Specifically, players you may not expect to help out in a big way this season, but very well could.

All of these players will be players who played for the Tigers last season. We are not including any offseason acquisitions. The Tigers are putting most of their chips in on some of their young talent, so we're going to look and see who could have a big year in 2024.

The Tigers are going to need a few breakouts this season if they have any aspirations of winning anything of importance this season. Here are three players who could be those breakout sensations.

Parker Meadows

Finally, I get to gush about Parker Meadows, I did it a little bit in our bold predictions article last week, but now I get to fully unleash my feelings about him in 2024...that sounded a little weird. Anyway, Meadows is obviously my personal favorite to have a breakout season. He's always had the talent and the tools, but now that he's had a cup of coffee at the big league level, he might just have the experience to begin to put it all together.

Meadows' overall numbers in his short big league stint last season weren't all that pretty. He slashed .232/.331/.368 in 145 plate appearances. That's good for a 94 wRC+, which is 6% below league average. But what was impressive is that he was somehow still about to rack up 1.0 fWAR in that same 37-game timeframe because his defense was that good.

He had 4 outs above average (OAA) in the span. Racking that much OAA in 37 games in awfully impressive. His speed and arm strength in center field was on full display quite a few times from late August onward.

Because of his strong defense, all he has to do is be a slightly above average hitter and he could easily be a 3-4 WAR player this season. He has the eye — he walked nearly 12% of the time in the majors, and walked 11% of the time in Triple-A. He has a history of hitting for power in the minors. He's going to get some hustle doubles — and triples — because of his 90th percentile sprint speed. He's going to strike out a good bit, but you can live with that considering he doesn't everything else pretty well.

Parker Meadows could be the Tigers' centerfielder for the next several years. He could even be their leadoff hitter by season's end. It's going to be fascinating to watch his development this season.