The 2023 baseball season is almost upon us. For Detroit Tigers fans, it’s a season of development and hopefully a step towards a brighter future for the organization. While critics don’t see the Tigers being a particular good baseball team in 2023, they have a lot of intriguing players heading into the new season. With that being said, here are our statistical leaders’ predictions for the Detroit Tigers in 2023:
Detroit Tigers Leader in home runs-Javier Baez
The Detroit Tigers did not have a single player eclipse 20 home runs last season. While we are not going to beat a dead horse, I do not expect that to be the case in 2023. If history tells us anything, it’s that it repeats itself and Javier Baez, despite his faults, is a 25-30 home run caliber-player.
A hand injury severely hampered Baez’s production last year, but a strong last month of the season gives fans a little optimism this year. The previous two full seasons for Javier Baez, he hit 31 & 29 home runs respectively for the Cubs and Mets.
Other than Baez, I could see Eric Haase or Austin Meadows potentially challenge for the team lead in homers. Let’s also not forget Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson, who will look to establish themselves as core pieces of this team in 2023.
Detroit Tigers Leader in Innings Pitched-Matt Manning
While the Detroit Tigers have a ton of pitching depth in 2023, it may be needed, as nobody on this roster threw over 100 innings last season in the big leagues. Pitchers like Eduardo Rodriguez & Matt Boyd will look to reestablish themselves as guys the Tigers can rely on, but both have had their fair share of injuries. As for the other Detroit Tigers starters, Spencer Turnbull is working his way back from injury and Michael Lorenzen has also had his fair share of injuries as well in his career.
This will be a big year for 25-year-old Matt Manning. While just pitching 63.0 innings last season, you hope he can put his injury history behind him and be a horse at the top of the rotation for the Detroit Tigers.
Starting pitchers are not being asked to do as much as they once were, as in 2022 only 8 pitchers in baseball pitched 200 innings or more. While 150 innings is probably pushing it, if Manning or anybody for that matter in the Tigers rotation could come close to that number, that would be a huge plus in 2023.
Detroit Tiger Leader in WAR-Riley Greene
Last season, Javier Baez led the Tigers in Wins Above Replacement at 2.6. I expect multiple players to eclipse that this season. The most prominent example would be Riley Greene.
Despite playing in just 93 games and having a subpar hitting season in the majors, Greene still put up a total of 1.4 WAR in 2022. Now with the former 5th overall pick finally being healthy, we all look for Greene to have a breakout year of sorts as he hits atop the Detroit Tigers lineup in 2023.
Detroit Tigers Leader in On Base + Slugging (OPS)- Austin Meadows
I think people have forgotten the type of hitter Austin Meadows can be. Yes, the less said about last year, the better. MLB players are human, just like everyone else.
While league average for OPS is around .750, I would expect a few Tigers to get to that number in 2023. Eric Haase technically led the Tigers in OPS. Last year with players with at least 300 at-bats. Javier Baez was the only Tigers player with at least 500 at-bats, with his OPS, sitting at .671.
Austin Meadows had the best season of his career in 2019, making the All-Star team while hitting 33 home runs with an OPS. Of .922. While he may not get to that number, it would be safe to say if anybody on the Tigers can put up an OPS of .800 or better, they have a good shot at leading the team in 2023.
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