It was no secret last year that the Detroit Tigers were the most formidable hitting team in the MLB. With Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez hitting in the middle of the lineup, opposing pitchers had to pick their poison in terms of who they wanted to pitch to, and that still didn’t work out. The Tigers ranked first in the league in hits and batting average, and second in the league in runs and RBI’s.
This year, the team is missing Fielder in a trade that sent him to the Texas Rangers and brought over high-profile second baseman Ian Kinsler. Judging from the Tigers’ split squad spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays today, that lineup will still be one of the best in all of baseball.
The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 18-4 in a game that featured five of the nine projected starters from the Tigers’ lineup this season.
Kinsler, Torii Hunter, Martinez, Austin Jackson and Alex Avila all played against Toronto today, and they will all be a huge part to the team’s success this season.
While Cabrera has established himself as the best hitter in all of baseball, he cannot shoulder the entire load for the Tigers this season, especially with the absence of Fielder. Kinsler will more than likely set the tone for the lineup in the lead off role, followed by Hunter, Cabrera, Martinez, Jackson, then Avila.
While Kinsler possesses the ability to hit for both contact and power, Hunter is a solid contact hitter who will help set the table for Cabrera. Martinez had one of the best seasons of his career last year, and has shown signs of a repeat this year with his Spring Training thus far, making it dangerous for pitchers to go around Cabrera next year. Jackson struggled mightily at the end of last season, but has picked it up in Spring Training, hitting for a stellar .469 BA to go along with 2 HR and 10 RBI.
With the improvement of Jackson and the additions of Kinsler and former Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis to provide some speed along the base paths, the Tigers will have without a doubt one of the most fearsome lineups in all of baseball. And if today’s score was any indication of what’s to come, we could very well see them make a run at the World Series.