Tigers 2015: The Outfield
The Tigers start the 2015 season in just a couple of weeks, and the team will definitely have a different look to it. One big difference will be in the outfield. The Tigers traded Austin Jackson in the middle of last season, along with starting pitcher Drew Smyly and some prospects, all to get starter David Price for a little over a season. The Tigers parted ways with veteran Torii Hunter, who did a nice job for the Tigers.
Last season, the Tigers picked up the speedy Rajai Davis from Toronto, with the idea of platooning him in left with Andy Dirks. Dirks hurt his back and now he’s in the Toronto organization. Davis really stepped up last season, hitting .282 and stealing 36 bases in 134 games. Not bad, and he even took over in center field after the Jackson trade.
The Tigers picked J.D. Martinez up off the scrapheap and he was the surprise of 2014. Martinez hit .315 with 23 homers. He’s having a great spring, hitting .349. Detroit traded starter Rick Porcello for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. He has a great arm and plenty of power, but hasn’t lived up to the hype since coming to the US from Cuba. In three big league seasons, Cespedes is hitting .263. It’s the final year of his contract, so he definitely has something to prove. But the wild card to the Tigers’ outfield, is a guy you probably have never hear of. He’s the guy that most impressed me at spring training, and potentially one of the most exciting players the Tigers have had in a while. His name is Anthony Gose.
The Tigers picked up Gose from, you guessed it, Toronto. They gave up second base prospect Devon Travis. Gose is a very speedy center fielder, who is great on defense and on the base paths. The problem is that he hasn’t been able to get on those base paths as much as the scouts thought he would. So far, the change of scenery has been good for Gose. He’s hitting .371, I saw him in four games down in Florida, and he wreaked havoc on the opposition in all of them. His speed forced them to make mistakes, and he was a lot of fun to watch. Gose, a left handed hitter, will probably platoon with Davis in center. The Tigers will probably carry a fifth outfielder, most likely left-hand hitter Tyler Collins. So, it looks like an outfield with good skills, good speed and good power. These guys could provide some real excitement for Tiger fans this season.