Friday, March 30, 2012

Better Know a Tiger: Alex Avila

As we slowly inch toward are under a week from the MLB regular season, here at DNR we will take a closer look at some of the key players in the Tigers’ pursuit of championship in 2012. By popular demand, we now come to the starting catcher, Alex Avila.



Full Name: Alexander Thomas Avila

Date of Birth: January 29, 1987 (25 years old)

From: Hialeah, Florida

Height: 5’11

Weight: 210 lbs

High School: Archbishop McCarthy (Pembroke Pines, FL)

College: University of Alabama

Journey To Detroit: Drafted by Tigers in the 5th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Made Tigers debut on August 6, 2009 against Baltimore.

Best Season: 2011: .295 Avg, 19 HR, 82 RBI, 143 OPS+

Worst Season: 2010: .228 Avg, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 78 OPS+

2012 Salary: Around $430K

Career earnings through 2011: $829K

Likes

-Bananas

-Picking ticks off of other gorilla-like creatures

-Having a backup catcher on the roster

-“Ironman” by Black Sabbath

-Tom Lasorta

Dislikes

-The full moon

-When teammates hide his razor between innings

-When Leyland believes him when he says, “Yeah, I can play again today.”

-Being called “Junior”. (He prefers “Indiana”.)

Did You Know?

-Alex was originally drafted by Detroit in 2005 in the 34th round. He chose to attend Alabama instead.

-Had two hits in each of his first three MLB games.

-Avila’s Silver Slugger award in 2011 made him the tenth Tigers catcher to win the award and the first since Pudge Rodriguez in 2004.

-Has also had two other brothers drafted by the Tigers. Nick in 2011 and Alan in 2008. This is because the Tigers do not take the draft seriously and insist on drafting the children of all their employees. Luckily, it actually worked with Alex.

Outlook for 2012

Regression is to be expected, but not too much. I think Alex is the most patient hitter on the team not named Cabrera or Fielder, and would like to see him batting 2nd instead of Boesch. But whatever. Alex is the rare case of me being proved wrong that I’m not annoyed to talk about. The kid was outstanding last year and I hope he can continue to produce in the majors and not become the next Matt Nokes. Keeping him fresh will be important this year as he was dead tired by the playoffs and went 3 for 41 against the Yankees and Rangers last year. God help us, we’ll need to count on Gerald Laird a bit this season. Or Omir Santos…same thing.

Hope for .270, 18, 70 and be thrilled with it.

1 comment:

Eric said...

wow. a matt nokes reference. solid memory recognition.