Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making The Grade: 2010 Tigers Position Players

Yeah, it’s that time. The season’s over and Your Party Host, in his infinite wisdom, is here to provide his grades on everyone that took the field for your Detroit Tigers in 2010. As always, I remain fair and balanced. My grades are based on a complicated formula taking into account a player’s stats, the impact they had on the team, expectations I had for the player, and how tall the player is. (Just kidding, Will Rhymes!) Also, no “incompletes” for anyone. The season’s are their grades.

We’ll start with position players and then move on to the pitching staff later on this week. I’ll try to keep things brief since 41 guys in total saw time for the Tigers this year. That’s a lot of mostly interchangeable, below average white guys, Mr. Dombrowski. We expect better in 2011.

Let’s rock.

Player, Final Grade (First Half Grade)

Miguel Cabrera, A+ (A+)
.328, 13, 126, 1.042

I guess I’ll start with the best of the best. The man’s a beast. He proved all his doubters wrong this year with very little offensive support around him. His defense at first continues to improve and he put together another MVP caliber season. Cabrera’s the most amazing player I’ve ever seen in a Tiger uniform. Appreciate the big man while he’s around. You might never see another like him.

Austin Jackson, B+ (B+)
.293, 4, 41, .745

AJax was an awesome surprise this year in Detroit. His defense is unbelievable and I think his hitting will only continue to get better now that he has a year in the show under his belt. Though his OPS+ of 102 is almost the definition of average, given the shoes he was filling in center field in the eyes of the fans and Detroit media, I think Austin did an unbelievable job. And unlike most, I could care less that he struck out 170 times. If he popped out to second base 80 of those times, would that make him a better player? No. Keep it up, kid.

Johnny Damon, B (B)
.271, 8, 51, .756

Yeah, that makes three straight guys that I’m giving the same grade as I did at the break. JD’s only season in the D was interesting. His numbers don’t jump out at you. But he did have two walk-off homers and more importantly, in my opinion, set an awesome example for the many young Tigers that made their MLB debuts this year. JD’s a class act, had a .355 OBP in ’10, and I wish him luck next year wherever he ends up.

I still think his wife’s a twat, though.

Magglio Ordonez, A- (A-)
.303, 12, 59, .852

For a guy that was supposedly winding down his career after a disappointing ’09, Maggs was putting together a damn fine season batting ahead of Big Mig this year before breaking his ankle and ending his season early. His 130 OPS+ was second to only Cabrera on the team among all guys with at least 100 plate appearances, and his defense was much better than he has shown in recent years. The Tigers declined his option, but I remain hopeful that they can come to terms on a deal for him to return to right field in 2011.

Brandon Inge, C (C+)
.247, 13, 70, .718

Binge gets a C because he did everything that was expected of him. He hit around .250, got hurt for a while, and played great defense at third base. With a weak free agent crop for third basemen and Adrian Beltre coming to Detroit being highly unlikely, expect the same for the Tigers in 2011. Joy.

Alex Avila, D+ (C-)
.228, 7, 31, .656

I wasn’t one of the people that were gushing over Al Avila’s kid after his impressive debut at the end of ’09. I’ve seen too many guys not pan out over the years after hot starts. But Avila’s offensive production this year was even worse than I expected. Sure, he hit better than Gerald Laird and played solid defense, but the guy really needs to develop quicker with the bat if he’s going to be the starter next season.

/praying for DD to sign Victor Martinez

Brennan Boesch, C (A)
.256, 14, 67, .736

He was Al Kaline in the first half. He turned into Clete Thomas in the second. Hopefully the kid figures out how to take a pitch once in a while, improves his defense, and rebounds from the nightmare that his season became after July.

Carlos Guillen, C- (C)
.273, 6, 34, .746

Ugh. ‘Los only played in 68 games this year with three trips to the DL. Sure, myself and many others make jokes about Guillen being made of glass, but the guy needs to figure out a way to stay healthy next year to justify making even half of the $13 million he’s due in 2011. Yeah, $13 million to a guy that hasn’t had an OPS+ over 113 since 2007.

Ryan Raburn, B- (D-)
.280, 15, 62, .814

As usual, Ryan sucked donkey schlong the first half of the season and played like an all-star the second. All the while, he carried out there the shakiest glove seen in Comerica Park since the days of Eric Munson. Will the real Ryan Raburn please stand up…please stand up? (Or be traded…)

Ramon Santiago, D+ (C-)
.263, 3, 22, .662

That may seem harsh for Little Ramon, a longtime favorite of mine, but though he’s never been considered a great hitter, an OPS+ of 82 in his best opportunity ever to become the starting shortstop is a disappointment to me. Ramon’s the ultimate utility infielder, but he showed this year that he’ll never be able to cut it in an everyday role.

Gerald Laird, D- (D-)
.207, 5, 25, .567

Laird was a load at the plate this year. A load of sh-t. No matter how good his defense is, an OPS+ of 54 is pathetic. Dane Sardinha laughs at that. Good luck elsewhere in ’11, G. I hope it’s in Arizona so you can make more Suns games.

Will Rhymes, B- (None)
.304, 1, 19, .763

I make fun of ‘Lil Will because he’s only 4’8, but the guy surpassed all expectations I had for him when he made his debut. He hit over .300, had an OPS+ of 107, played decent defense (as long at it wasn’t a potential game winning DP ball in the 9th), and won the hearts of silly fans that like their ballplayers like their animal cartoon characters: short, furry, and Scrappy! "Lemmie at ‘em…lemmie AT ‘EM!"

Jhonny Peralta, C+ (None)
.253, 8, 38, .710

When I heard that the Tigers’ big trade deadline move was to make a deal for Peralta, I attempted to walk in front of a moving semi. Luckily, a homeless guy was there to stop me. Thanks, dude. But Jhonny played better than I expected, especially at short, and I’m willing to give him a chance to improve further with a winning Tiger team in 2011.

Don Kelly, D+ (D)
.244, 9, 27, .646

Don Kelly is an abortion at baseball. We really had no one better to play first when Mig went down?

Scott Sizemore, F (F)
.224, 3, 14, .631

Sizemore was supposed to replace Placido Polanco in 2010. He couldn’t have replaced Jim Walewander with what he ended up doing. In his defense, he wasn’t fully recovered from injury to start the season and did produce a bit better upon his late-season recall. 2011 will see him compete with Tinkerbell for the 2nd base job.

Casper Wells, A (Inc)
.323, 4, 17, .901

What can you say? Sure, he only had 99 plate appearances, but Wells did nothing but produce as a Tiger this year. Perhaps one of Double D’s terrible white clones will actually be able to hit in the big leagues.

Danny Worth, C (C+)
.255, 2, 8, .653

He can field okay. He can’t hit for crap. One of the clones that I just spoke of. Hopefully Worthless can come back from injury and prove me wrong next year.

Adam Everett, F (F)
.185, 0, 4, .468

Seriously, did he die or something after the team released him? I miss his hair, though…

Jeff Frazier, F (None)
.217, 0, 1

I think Dave and Jim had a bet to see if Dombrowski had the balls to keep calling up terrible players this year…

Jeff Larish, F (None)
.200, 0, 1, .400

Poor Jeff. He only got into 3 games before the team released him and he ended up in Oakland. I still think he can contribute…it just won’t be here.

Max St. Pierre, C (None)
.222, 0, 0, .556

Max only got 9 at bats, but it was fun to see the guy get his first MLB hit after 40 years or so in the minors.

Pitchers coming soon. Stay tuned.


Tracy said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Rhymes fielding the potential game ending double play ball and then running into Peralta at second and falling over.

Tracy said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Rhymes fielding the potential game ending double play ball and then running into Peralta at second and falling over.