Moving on to the last position in the outfield, we’ve already anointed Bobby Veach the Greatest Tiger left fielder, and Ty Cobb the greatest Tiger center fielder. The question now is, will Sam Crawford make an early 1900’s sweep of outfield greats, or will Al Kaline or possibly Harry Heilmann, or another Tiger take home that crown? To be eligible for the list, a player must play at least 5-years for the Tigers with a majority of games coming at that position. Unlike the infielder however, I do look at stats across all outfield spots.
In case you missed the news last night, the Tigers most likely just traded for their center fielder. In a move that isn’t going to get a ton of coverage, Detroit traded a player to be named and cash to Tampa for right handed hitting Mikie (pronounced Mike-ee) Mahtook.
The move doesn’t come as a big surprise as General Manager Al Avila mentioned that Detroit would be searching all avenues for a center fielder and had been connected to cheaper options recently.
As we continue on exploring the greatest Tigers by position of all-time, we move on to what I am guessing is a slam dunk before any research is done. Before getting to the list however, looking back I’ve covered the all-time best Tigers catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and left fielder. You can click on any of the previous links to check out that position.
Moving on to center field, we changed the criteria up a bit for outfielders where I still am looking for at least five years with the Tigers and playing a majority of time at that positon. The one change I did make however to gaging the outfield spots, is opening it up to majority of games played at that position, but looking at all outfield numbers, since it’s much more common to see a players shift positions.
For the Center Field spot, we have four qualifiers: Ty Cobb, Mickey Stanley, Ron LeFlore, and Chet Lemon. Austin Jackson just misses out being traded mid-way through his 5th season in Detroit, but could be back via free agency this season. Since this is a shoe in, we’ll take a look at all of the players…
Pushing forward, we move out to the outfield where I believe there will be some challenging calls at each position. To recap however, we had an easy decision at shortstop, an ugly decision at third, and some very intriguing calls at second, first, and catcher.
If you’re reading one of these entries for the first time, the only stipulation that I look at is that the player be in a Tiger uniform for a minimum of 5 years and play a majority of his games at that position during that timeframe. I will make a slight change however and evaluate all of a players outfield stats, as they are a little more likely to move to another position to cover an injury, etc. Qualifying for consideration in left is Willie Horton, Bobby Veach, Matty McIntyre, Charlie Maxwell, Larry Herndon, Bobby Higginson, Steve Kemp, and Dick Wakefield. To keep this readable, I am going to cut Dick Wakefield, Steve Kemp, Larry Herndon, and Matty McIntyre.
With Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers reporting in 39 days, I want to send some positive thoughts out for what has been a slow off-season.
Normally about this time each year, Detroit Tigers owner Mike Illitch swoops in with forcing a big signing and saving the Tigers off-season. This is not something I expect this year with $181.2MM on the books and six players set for arbitration (another $12.6MMM estimated), and Detroit closing in on paying a luxury tax.
The good news however, Detroit can still contend for the…
After the ugliness of what is the history of Tigers playing third base, we move to what I am guessing is an easier decision with the Shortstop position. If you missed the greatest Tigers catcher, first baseman, second baseman, or third base, you can catch up at any point by clicking on the hyperlinks.
Again, the only qualifier in my process for determining the best positional Detroit Tiger is that they played at least five years as a Tiger with a majority of their games at that position. Qualifying for shortstop is Alan Trammell, Donie Bush, Billy Rogell, Harvey Kuenn, and (ahem) Deivi Cruz. We boot Deivi to start with his 6.0 WAR as a Tiger.
Here we go in chronological order of when the player was in Detroit…
Ever wonder what professional ball players do in the off season? Well, with social media we get a bit close of a look at that answer. A few Tigers have been active on Instagram over the last couple of weeks, so lets take a look at some highlights…
We first start with my favorite on social media these days, Justin Verlander…
JV getting his karaoke on and from the looks of it taking it pretty seriously
Talking a big game and actually backing it up with action are two very different things. Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has certainly learned that lesson throughout this offseason.
Almost immediately following the conclusion of Detroit’s regular season schedule, Avila was clear that “changes are coming” in the way the organization conducts its business. Also, since they have been working “way above” their financial means for a while, the goal was to start getting younger.
Obviously, that meant being open to potential trades for just about anybody to clear some payroll. The selling started by shipping Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels, and then… things halted.
Detroit’s biggest stars – Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander – saw their names briefly pop up in the rumor mill, but they died down quickly. One available player who seemed all but traded was J.D. Martinez, and it wasn’t hard to see why.
But here were are, with the holidays over and 2017 officially upon us, and he’s still a member of the Tigers. It doesn’t look like he’s leaving anytime soon, either.
Moving on in our exploration of the greatest Detroit Tiger at each position, we cover third base today. To date, I’ve covered off on the Tigers best catcher, first baseman, and second baseman, with first base being the toughest choice so far.
My only stipulation for being eligible for consideration is playing the position of discussion for a majority of games as a Tigers for at least five years. That leaves us with seven players that qualify and they are Aurelio Rodriguez, Don Wert, Brandon Inge, Tom Brookens, Pinky Higgins, George Kell, and Marv Owen. Not making the cut any further is Don Wert, Aurelio Rodriguez, and Marv Owen. This definitely is the weakest position so far, but let’s take a look…
As we continue exploring the greatest Detroit Tigers by position of all-time, we’ve already made a case for the Tigers best catcher and first baseman; we now focus in the middle of the diamond and second base.
Qualifying requires a minimum of 5-years in the old English D, with a majority of time played at this position. As seen with Miguel Cabrera and others, we remove stats from other positions played and look solely at the position being evaluated. With that, we have seven significant Tigers that qualify at second to consider. They include: Ralph Young, Frank Bolling, Placido Polanco, Damion Easley, Dick McAuliffe, Charlie Gehringer, and Lou Whitaker. I’ll remove Ralph Young (1915-1922) with his 1.4 WAR off the bat and Frank Bolling, Damion Easley, and Placido Polanco for their limited time in Detroit.
Alright, let’s look at the second sackers…