Sunday, January 9, 2011

A look at the new Tigers in town

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

This coming 2011 season, there is sure to be a number of great catches, home runs, and strikeouts. But, by whom, is the question. Here's a list of a few new players, some of which may or may not be on the 25-man roster, who could be able to help propel the Tigers to the playoffs.

Joaquin Benoit: Benoit, who won This Week in Baseball's 'Setup Man of the Year' Award, is setting up to be a key player in the Tigers organization this season. While last seas
on was the best of his career, before that, Benoit was no slouch. Since 2005, he has had averaged 53 games per year and, during those same years, won 16 games while losing 13.

Joaquin jokes about his accent at TigerFest
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Victor Martinez: The catcher, formerly of the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, has been the biggest acquisition this offseason. Martinez is a hard hitting catcher; his career batting average is exactly .300. He also has some 'pop' in his bat, hitting 25 home runs in 2007 and 20 last season. And, while Martinez has played first base in the past, he'll be a full time catcher with the Tigers. Though not a gold glove catcher, Victor is no slouch behind the dish. Last season, he had a .993 fielding percentage.

Victor Martinez gets a Detroit welcome
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Jacob Turner: While this 19-year-old likely won't be on this year's team, with another great year in the minors, he definitely has the ability to be one of the clubs' September call-ups. He was an all-star last season, playing with the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps. And, at 6'5" and 210 pounds, Turner is proof that the Tigers continuously look for hard-throwing talent.

Ryan Strieby: Another player who inevitably won't make the 25-man cut is first baseman Ryan Strieby. The Seattle native only hit .245 last year with the Toledo Mud Hens (AAA). In 2009, he hit .303 with the Erie SeaWolves. With a few years of seasoning, there's no doubt that this talent can find his way to the majors. But, being an up and coming first baseman in Detroit is no easy business. Strieby will have to find a new position if he wants to see Comerica Park anytime soon.