With opening day approaching, I'm going to make some predictions for the Tigers 2013 season. These are not mathematical projections, but rather a mix of science and intuition. I'll start by offering ten predictions for Tigers batters:
Alex Avila was an easy pick to regress last year after his surprising break out in 2011. This year, he'll bounce back somewhat but will probably never repeat 2011. He'll hit .260/.350/.430 with 15 round trippers which is more than solid for a good defensive catcher.
Prince Fielder hit for more average and hit fewer homers last year than his norm. He'll get back to a more typical Fielder season in 2013 with a .285/.380/.560 line and 36 homers. With better conditioning, his defense at first will improve but still be below average.
Omar Infante will be a big improvement over the collection they had at second most of last season batting .270/.315/.400. His defense will slip a little in his age 31 season, but he'll still be average to slightly above average.
Jhonny Peralta will have a second consecutive down season in what will be his final year as a Tiger posting a .300 OBP with a steady glove but no range. He'll keep his job, but will have the Tigers hunting for a young shortstop at the deadline and into the off-season.
Miguel Cabrera will not win another triple crown, but he'll be
just as good even if his numbers are not noticed as much nationally. It will be another MVP caliber season - .325/.395/.590
with 40 homers.
Torii Hunter will be a major upgrade over Brennan Boesch but he's 37 with peripherals trending downward. He'll bat .270 with a .750 OPS to go wuith above average defense in right. In other words, he'll be pretty good, but not as good as Rod Allen will be claiming.
Austin Jackson won't be quite as good as last year, but will still be one of the better center fielders in the league. Look for a .280/.345/.435 line with 20 stolen bases and a gold glove.
Andy Dirks will prove to be more of a role player than a first division regular posting a .770 OPS in 325 PA mostly versus right handers. He'll be injury prone and share time with others such as Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia. Castellanos will finish strong batting .275/.320/.400 in 175 PA.
Victor Martinez will miss time with various injuries and regress as a hitter but he'll still be a lot better than last year's designated hitters - .285/.350/.430.
The Tigers will score 800 runs in 2013.