This is a very hard article to write on the Detroit Tigers simply because there are so few DONTs on their Major League roster. This off-season they spent some big money signing Prince Fielder and have been in the discussion regarding some high profile international players. Let’s look at who you should draft and who you should let drift by.
Don’t expect anything less than an MVP season from staff ace Justin Verlander in 2012. He has all the makings of a future HOFer and is the reining AL MVP. Expect tons of strikeouts and over 20 wins this season for a powerful looking Tigers team. In most leagues he should not slip out of the first two rounds of your draft.
Do take Brennan Boesch as one of your everyday outfielders. He is young and really coming into his own with the bat. He has very big power potential as well as the ability to steal a few bases. Boesch should really come into his own this year and be an asset to your fantasy team.
Don’t take Austin Jackson before the 12th round of your draft. He might not be the lead-off man this year Detroit and but if your league offers points for steals, he may be a steal somewhere deep in the draft. The Tigers don’t really have any other choice in center field but be cautious how high you draft him.
Don’t forget to pick up Max Scherzer as your number 3 or 4 starter this year. He has a ridiculous 2-seam fastball and should strikeout a ton of batters this year. Control can sometimes be an issue but he should provide you with close to 200 innings and decent production. Scherzer’s win totals may jump up this year with a powerful offense behind him.
DO DO DO take Miguel Cabrera as your number 1 overall pick in 2012. He has third base eligibility and can flat out rake. With Prince Fielder hitting behind him he could contend for a triple crown sort of season this year. Don’t pass him up.
Don’t miss out on Prince Fielder in the first round of the draft. He should have lots of guys on base this year to drive in and the power will not be diminished in Detroit. Make him your number one target as a first baseman this year and enjoy the ride to the playoffs.
Do try to lay off the middle infielders for the Tigers this year. They won’t provide much production to your fantasy team.
Don’t forget about the Tigers young catcher, Alex Avila. He had a big year in 2011 and is looking to expand on that. He should be able to weather another long season at catcher and will provide your fantasy team with some nice offensive number for the catcher position.
Don’t take Victor Martinez in any of your leagues! In case you didn’t look at the headlines this past off season he is hurt and will not be back this season most likely. Instead try to talk the new guy into drafting him in the first round.
Don’t be afraid to get Jose Valverde as your closer. He closes out games and should have plenty of leads to protect this year.
Do pay attention to some of the young pitchers in the Tigers system. Rick Porcello is looking to have a solid, rebound year and should be fighting to stay in the lineup everyday. Jacob Turner might break camp with the Major League squad but he will probably be seasoned a bit more in the minors. Either way he should make an impact at the Major League level this year and he has lightning stuff.
Don’t forget about my favorite sleeper on the Tigers, Drew Smyly. In my opinion he is better than Jacob Turner and might even reach The Show before Turner. He has electric stuff but more importantly he has great control. He may be your very first waiver pickup if he breaks camp on the 25-man roster but if he doesn’t, put him on your watch list and wait for the call-up.