Since 2014, the Detroit Tigers have been one of the doormats of the American League Central Divison. They have finished in last place in four of the last seven seasons and have only posted one winning record during that time span. In 2020, the Chicago White Sox won a whopping nine out of 10 games against Detroit
Feasting on weak teams in the Central Division is one of the reasons the White Sox were able to coast to a division title this year. However, the joy ride against the Tigers may be coming to an end. Detroit showed signs of potential this season.
In their first season under AJ Hinch, the Tigers won 77 games which is their most since 2016. The White Sox did manage to go 12-7 against the Tigers this season. However, Detroit did not make it easy on them as the two sides engaged in some dogfights throughout the season.
The Tiger’s young and talented roster presents a challenge down the road. Eric Haase belted 22 home runs last season as the Tigers catcher with a 104 OPS+. He has five seasons of club control remaining. Miguel Cabera is a future Hall of Famer and is just shy of 3,000 career hits. While his production has slowed he is still a threat in the middle of the lineup.
The Chicago White Sox are going to have their hands full with the Detroit Tigers.
Jeimer Candelario served as the Tigers everyday third baseman. He led the American League in doubles and led the Tigers in WAR. He is only 28 years old and just entering his prime. Jonathan Schoop was a borderline All-Star who was on the White Sox radar at the trade deadline. He is signed through 2023.
Akil Baddoo is a former Rule 5 draft pick who turned himself into a solid major leaguer. His 2.1 bWAR was the highest by a Tigers rookie position player since Austin Jackson. Baddoo is athletic and has a very high ceiling.
Robbie Grossman is one of his fellow outfielders. Grossman was a stud in 2021. He hit 23 home runs, stole 20 bases, and posted a 116 OPS+. Casey Mize has the potential to turn into a future ace if he can stay healthy. Meanwhile, their farm system is stocked with talent.
Spencer Torkelson headlines the bunch. The 22-year-old first overall pick in 2020 has raw power. He shattered Barry Bonds’s freshman home run record at Arizona State. He is one of two players in the top 10 of MLB.com’s top prospect list.
The other is Riley Green who was a member of USA Baseball’s gold-medal-winning 18-and-Under National Team in the Pan-American Championships. He was drafted in 2019 and listed as the best pure hitter of the draft class.
Another prospect in the Top 100 is Jackson Jobe. He is one of the most advanced high school pitching prospects in recent years. His slider grades as a 70 on a scale that only goes up to 80.
One thing is for sure, the White Sox better be ready because the Tigers are coming.