The Detroit Tigers will enter the 2020 season with a new starting first baseman and a third baseman that has yet to reach his potential. C.J. Cron will anchor the first baseman position this season, while Jeimer Candelario will be at the hot corner. Miguel Cabrera will fill in occasionally at first base but will mainly serve as the teams full time designated hitter. Dawel Lugo will provide depth at third base and could see more time if Candelario gets off to a slow start. Below we will breakdown each player and what to expect from each.
C.J. Cron was another free agent signing that the Tigers made in the off-season to address their issues scoring runs. Cron will bring more power to the lineup and provides the same benefits as the Jonathan Schoop signing. He will give the Tigers an everyday first baseman and with 55 home runs over the last two seasons, will hopefully allow them to score more runs. The 30 year old adds another veteran presence to the locker room and lineup as the Tigers slowly rebuild.
Jeimer Candelario was the prized prospect in the Alex Avila and Justin Wilson trade in 2017 and has spent the last two seasons figuring things out at the major league level. While Candelario shows glimpses of what he can be,(he hit 19 home runs in 2018) he really struggled at the plate last season. He does posses good plate discipline, he barely eclipsed the .200 mark for average last season. If the Tigers can get the 2018 version of Jeimer they could have an outside chance at making the expanded playoffs.
Miguel Cabrera has struggled to stay 100% healthy the last few years and that will be the main factor in him being the Tigers full-time designated hitter. There’s little doubt that when healthy Cabrera is still one of the top players at putting the ball in play. Even with the injuries, Cabrera manged to hit over .280 last season and will look to find his power this year. He needs 23 home runs to eclipse the 500 mark for his career and that will all but lock up his Hall of Fame candidacy.
Dawel Lugo was arguably the best prospect that the Tiger received in the J.D. Martinez trade to the Diamondbacks. Lugo was able to get some major league experience last season appearing in 77 games and posted a serviceable .245 average. While Lugo will never be the power hitter you expect from your third baseman he does make decent contact and if Jeimer Candelario gets off to a slow start, Lugo will have every opportunity to prove his worth.