Detroit Tigers 2018 season review

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 29: Young Detroit fans during the second game of the final home series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Detroit Tigers on September 29, 2018, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 29: Young Detroit fans during the second game of the final home series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Detroit Tigers on September 29, 2018, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 12: Christin Stewwart #14 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the game against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park on September 12, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Astros defeated the Tigers 5-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

2018 Detroit Tigers: Outlook for 2019

The Tigers are rebuilding, but haven’t yet rid themselves of a couple high priced players. There just isn’t much of a market for an injured and expensive Miguel Cabrera or a below average and expensive Jordan Zimmermann. With Cabrera and Zimmermann still on board, the team’s estimated payroll for 2019 is $113 million, which would rank seventh in the AL.

As things are now, the lineup, rotation and bullpen look like this:

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Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. is running his way to an MLB record
Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. is running his way to an MLB record /

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  • C—James McCann
    1B—Miguel Cabrera
    2B—Niko Goodrum/Dawel Lugo
    SS—Ronny Rodriguez/Pete Kozma
    3B—Jeimer Candelario
    LF—Christin Stewart
    CF—JaCoby Jones
    RF—Nick Castellanos
    DH—Mikie Mahtook

    SP—Matthew Boyd
    SP—Michael Fulmer
    SP—Jordan Zimmermann
    SP—Daniel Norris
    SP—Blaine Hardy

    CL—Shane Greene
    RP—Joe Jimenez
    RP—Alex Wilson
    RP—Louis Coleman
    RP—Daniel Stumpf

    The Tigers don’t look like even a .500 team yet, but things can change considerably in the months after the World Series and before spring training. And there is some good news down on the farm. According to the farm system rankings at Bleacher Report from August, the Tigers’ minor leaguers rank 10th in baseball.

    They have three Tier 1 players, all pitchers, and three Tier 2 players, two of whom are pitchers. Tier 1 players are “prospects who have an elite skill set and All-Star potential” Tier 2 players are “prospects who have a good chance of becoming impact contributors at the MLB level.”

    Those three Tier 1 pitchers are Matt Manning, Casey Mize and Franklin Perez. Manning pitched at three levels this season, closing out his year in Double-A. Mize was the number one overall pick in the June Amateur Draft. He had four starts in High-A. Perez didn’t pitch much in 2018 because of an injury.

    The Tigers best hitting prospect is outfielder Christin Stewart, who is considered a Tier 2 prospect by Bleacher Report. Stewart spent most of last season in Triple-A, where he hit .264/.364/.480, with 23 homers and 77 RBI. He joined the Tigers in September and hit .267/.375/.417 in 17 games down the stretch, which included a big 2-HR, 6-RBI game against the Royals on September 20. He should get a chance to be the everyday left fielder in 2019.

    The best hope for Tigers fans is for the young pitching in the minor leagues to continue to progress. Also, Christin Stewart is someone to watch in the outfield, with Daz Cameron (son of former MLB player Mike Cameron) likely to join him at some point in 2019. Cameron came over from the Houston Astros in the Justin Verlander trade.

    Then, of course, there’s future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. His contract will keep him around for another five years, so it would be great if he could get back to some semblance of his former self. He’s 324 hits away from 3000 for his career and 35 homers away from 500. If he can stay healthy, he should achieve a few significant career milestones in the next few years.

    Next. Where to play Niko in 2019?. dark

    That’s a look back at the Detroit Tigers in 2018. The 2019 season will hopefully see some moves forward in the rebuilding of the Tigers.