The following is the third and final article in a three-part series that will offer a 2012 season preview for the Detroit Tigers.
97-65, AL Central Champions. I don’t like to count my chickens before their hatched, but that’s exactly what I’m doing here. If the Tiger’s fail to win the AL Central this year, given the quality of the rest of the teams in the division, everyone will consider the season a devastating failure. Hell, anything short of a World Series appearance will be considered a failure given this payroll. Mike Illitch didn’t open up his wallet to pay for a team to win the easiest division in the MLB and bow out in the divisional series.
Projected Team MVP
Miguel Cabrera, 3B. I’m thinking out of the box and really stepping out on a limb on this one, eh? The majority of analysts are picking Miggy to win the AL MVP, so projecting him as the team MVP might seem easy. In the words of the fabled Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!” I took a really long deciding between Miggy and Verlander here, but I think the addition of Prince Fielder and the insurance he offers in the lineup put Miggy over the top in my mind.
3 Players who need to improve on their 2011 results
1. Austin Jackson
2. Max Scherzer
3. Phil Coke
3 Players who can’t be expected to recreate their 2011 results
1. Justin Verlander
2. Jhonny Peralta
3. Doug Fister