Detroit Tigers: Which Players Deserve to Be All-Stars This Season?
With the MLB All-Star Game less than a month away, it seems about right that we take a look at the possible All-Stars for the Detroit Tigers.
Even though the Tigers have not had the season that they had hoped for, they have a list of five players that could be potential All-Stars this year.
The team has been heating up as of late and these players seem to go along with that trend.
Joaquin Benoit, RP
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With an up-and-down season for the Detroit Tigers' bullpen, it seems almost impossible for one of the pitchers to be considered an All-Star.
Joaquin Benoit has had a very solid season after a rocky start. It doesn't matter how he started, it's all about how he has been hitting his stride lately. Benoit has a healthy 2.05 ERA with 43 strikeouts in just over 30 innings.
Benoit has been solid since the weather started to heat up. In fact, he hasn't given up a run in his past nine appearances, totaling 9.2 straight innings of scoreless work.
If he keeps this up, he will not only be an All-Star, but he could also be in line to be Detroit's next closer if Jose Valverde continues to struggle.
Austin Jackson, CF
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Austin Jackson is one of the top young players in the league and has proved himself this year.
After a sophomore slump last season, the third-year player faced criticism from people saying that he was just a one-year wonder and wouldn't last in the majors. He has had a major rebound this season.
Jackson was an early MVP candidate before his abdominal injury. Many thought the injury would set him back, but he is batting .318 in the past seven days and has his average at a scorching .323 with seven home runs and 27 RBI as a leadoff hitter.
Although he missed a couple weeks because of injury, many fans will be making sure his name gets filled in on the ballots.
Prince Fielder, 1B
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Prince Fielder was one of the offseason's biggest free agents. Fielder was signed to a nine-year deal by the Detroit Tigers and he was thought to have put the Tigers in World Series contention for sure.
No, the Tigers haven't lived up to expectations this season, but Fielder is not the reason they are struggling. In fact, the powerful first basemen has had an abnormally successful first half of the season so far.
Fielder has never finished a season batting over .300, but as of right now he is batting a modest .315 and has been their best hitter. Although his power numbers aren't showing up yet, his past shows that his power becomes more prominent as the season progresses. However, 10 home runs and 44 RBI is pretty solid for an off-year power-wise.
Look for the first basemen to most likely compete for a starting spot at first base against Paul Konerko for the All-Star Game in Kansas City next month.
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
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Miguel Cabrera is a no-brainer All-Star choice. He is having another typical Cabrera-like season with a .310 average, 14 home runs and 54 RBI.
Cabrera is a .316 career hitter so it should surprise no one that he is batting so well. His 54 RBI are good for second-best in the American League and third in the entire MLB.
He has come up big lately in clutch situations after being almost non-existent in the clutch early in the season. Cabrera and clean-up hitter Prince Fielder have become a lethal 3-4 combo in the lineup that many pitcher have a hard time with.
He is almost a lock for the All-Star Game next month and should only heat up more as the season goes on.
Justin Verlander, SP
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No shock here, the 2011 MVP Justin Verlander is going to be an All-Star. It's not a matter of if, but when he will play in the game.
The Tigers' ace is having another Cy Young-type season and is one of the league leaders in ERA with a 2.66 mark.
Verlander is the epitome of a workhorse. He pitches deep into games and exceeds 100 pitches with regularity. He has accumulated 103 strikeouts in just over 100 innings.
Shockingly, the MVP pitcher has had a streak of no wins in four starts for the first time in over four seasons. He ended that streak with a strong performance against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday and showed signs of the dominant Verlander that everyone is used to.
It is a possibility that he could start the All-Star Game, but there are other worthy candidates that could make the start for the Midsummer Classic. However, barring injury Verlander will be there and he will be participating, that's for sure.