The 2020 Detroit Tigers will feature a good combination of players that are both young and developing, and experienced with decent track records. The starting second baseman and shortstop will be Jonathan Schoop and Niko Goodrum respectively. The depth will be filled by Harold Castro and Jordy Mercer with both able to play either position. Jonathan Schoop should provide a boost in power and production last season and Niko Goodrum came on at the end of last year and will look to build on that. Below is a breakdown of each player and what to expect.
While it seems like Jonathan Schoop has been around forever, the second baseman is only 28 years old. Schoop is one of the more powerful second baseman in the league and should help a Detroit Tigers team that struggles to hit home runs. He has had over 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons and is a decent defender as well. Schoop will also add some veteran leadership to the team, as he enters his eighth season at the major league level. If Schoop can provide another 20+ home run season, he adds a dynamic hitter to a lineup that struggled to put runners on base last season.
Niko Goodrum will enter his fourth big league season as the starting shortstop for the first time in his career. Goodrum has served as a utility player for most of his short career, but after last season, he has secured the shortstop position as the Tigers rebuild. Niko is a well-balanced player that can do it all. He has just enough power, speed, contact, and glove to develop into one of the better shortstops in the American League. The 28 year old is key to a quick rebuild and will be leaned upon to anchor the middle of the infield.
Harold Castro is an interesting player, as he has hit at every level he has played and gives the Tigers a solid player that can player either middle infielder position. While he lacks power he is close to a .300 hitter and with a team that struggles to score runs, you need runners on base. Castro has been one of the better hitters in the summer camp leading into the season and if he continues to hit, manager Ron Gardenhire will have to find a spot for his bat in the lineup.
Jordy Mercer is in he same situation as Harold Castro, in which he can play both middle infield positions. What Mercer does not have on his side though, is age, as he enters the season as a 33 year old. Mercer has proven to be a solid major league infielder, but on a rebuilding team with younger options, he may have to take a backseat this season. I look at Mercer as a mentor for Niko Goodrum and Harold Castro that can take them both to the next level. If needed, there will not be much of a drop off if those ahead of him cannot play for any reason