In 2018, the Detroit Tigers got off to a decent start but when all was said and done, they finished with a 64-98 record, 27 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.
Considering the Tigers are in the middle of a rebuild, the thought is 2019 won’t be much better than a year ago.
But don’t tell that to former Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland.
Recently, Leyland was a guest on the Karsch and Anderson Show on 97.1 the Ticket and in his opinion, fans may have a reason to be excited in 2019, at least to an extent.
“If you look around the team right now, (Jeimer Candelario) hit quite a few home runs last year for a young guy, (Niko) Goodrum hit quite a few home runs, we got the (Christin) Stewart kid coming in the lineup who’s going to hit some home runs. You got (Miguel) Cabrera back, if he’s healthy and close to being normal, you got Castellanos, one of the better hitters in all of baseball. This lineup’s a lot better than people think, I’m serious. If we pitch good, if our starting pitching’s good, we’re going to be a much, much better club. … I’m not getting carried away, I’m not talking about a pennant winner, but we’re going to be much better than people think.”
Nation, do you agree with Leyland that the Tigers will be “much, much better” in 2019? If so, exactly how much better will they be?
10 Greatest Detroit Tigers Hitters of All-Time
The Detroit Tigers have been around for a very long time which means they have a very long list of great hitters. Today we will be taking a look at the top 10 greatest Tigers hitters of all-time. No. 1 on this list should not come as a surprise, but there is sure to be some disagreement when it comes to the other nine who made this list. Who do you think are the greatest hitters ever to wear the Old English ‘D’? Are we in lockstep?
10 – Alan Trammell
When it comes to talking about the all-time greatest Tigers hitters, Alan Trammell has to be on the list. During his 20 seasons of playing in Detroit, Trammell put up some outstanding offensive numbers and he was not too bad defensively, either. From 1977-1996, Trammell, who was recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, hit .285 with 185 home runs 1,003 RBIs. His greatest season came in 1987 when he batted .343 with 28 home runs and 105 RBIs as he finished 2nd to George Bell of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League MVP voting.
9 – Lou Whitaker
There is no question about it, “Sweet Lou” Whitaker is one of the greatest second basemen ever to step on a field, though he has yet to receive his due of being inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. I guess that is an argument for another day, but it is a fact. Whitaker, in 19 seasons with the Tigers, batted .276 with 244 home runs and 1,084 RBIs. He won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1978 and was selected to five All-Star teams. Lou’s best season in the Old English ‘D’ came in 1983 when he hit .320 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs on his way to an 8th place finish in the MVP voting.
8 – Norm Cash
‘Stormin’ Norman Cash originally came into Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Sox but that short stint is pretty much forgotten because of the 15 seasons he spent in the Motor City. During that time, Cash hit .272 with 373 home runs and 1,088 RBIs. His greatest individual season came in 1961 when he absolutely owned American League pitching as he batted .361 with 41 home runs and 132 RBIs. Cash easily could have won the MVP (he finished 4th) had it not been for a guy named Roger Maris, who hit 61 home runs that season.
7 – Charlie Gehringer
Though he was not very large in stature, Charlie Gehringer could certainly hit a baseball with the best of them. In his 19 seasons with the Tigers, ‘The Mechanical Man’ hit .320 with 184 home runs and 1,427 RBIs. Charlie was selected to six All-Star teams but his greatest season at the plate came in 1937 when he batted a league-best .371 while hitting 14 home runs and 96 RBIs on his way to being named the American League Most Valuable Player. In 1935, the Tigers first World Championship season, Gehringer helped lead the attack as he hit .330 with 19 home runs and 108 RBIs.
6 – Al Kaline
It’s impossible to talk about the greatest Detroit hitters of all time without mentioning Mr. Tiger himself, Al Kaline. Kaline made his debut with the Tigers in 1953 when he was just 18 years old. Over the next 22 seasons, Al earned the respect and admiration of Tigers fans as he hit .297 with 399 home runs and 1,582 RBIs. He was selected to 15 All-Star teams, including 13-straight from 1955-1967. When looking through Kaline’s stats through the years, it is difficult to pick which season was his greatest because he was so consistent year in and year out.
To see the top 5, please click on the link below.