In 2017, the Detroit Tigers sent just two players to Miami as part of the American League’s All Star roster. One of those players was starting pitcher Michael Fulmer, whose start to the 2018 season has been far from good enough to earn him another All Star appearance. The other was outfielder Justin Upton who no longer wears the old English D on his chest.
The Tigers have defied extremely low expectations so far this season, finding themselves three games back in the AL Central and hovering around .500. However, Detroit is still far behind the cream of the crop in the American League. This Tigers team does have enough talent to send a few players to join the league’s best in Washington D.C. With the 2018 All Star Game now less than a month away, here are the Tigers that have the best cases for representing Detroit in the nation’s capital and need that fans’ help to do so.
Nick Castellanos, OF
The American League is stacked with great outfielders: Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, just to name a few. Those guys all stand out in the spotlight in major markets like Boston, New York, and LA, but Nick Castellanos in Detroit has at times this season showcased his ability to stand among the AL’s best in the outfield. The 26-year-old leads the Tigers in batting average at .310, which places him sixth in the AL among outfielders, above heavyweights such as Judge (.275) and Stanton (.252). In addition, his 89 hits place him first among American League outfielders. Though it can almost be guaranteed Castellanos will be overshadowed by the big stars who will likely start in the outfield, Castellanos could be one of the top choices to come off the bench and make his first ever All Star roster.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
In his first full season in the Motor City, third baseman Jeimer Candelario has electrified Tigers fans so far throughout the 2018 season and has become possibly the most beloved of Detroit’s new young talent crop. Through 60 games this year, Candelario is batting .250, placing him seventh among third basemen in the AL. Though that may not seem too impressive to All Star voters, Candelario’s WAR and OPS stats place him higher up on the list of top third basemen in the league. With his numbers not being the best, Candelario could still bring a lot to an All Star roster. He’s youthful and extremely fun to watch, and though he definitely would not be a starter, he could fill a bench spot and be used to showcase young talent.
Joe Jimenez, RP
At just 23-years-old, Joe Jimenez has quickly established himself as Detroit’s go-to guy out of the bullpen in 2018. Jimenez has appeared in 38 games this year for the Tigers, tying him for first among all AL pitchers. In those 38 appearances, Jimenez has allowed only 8 runs, posting an impressive 2.04 ERA. In just 35.1 innings pitched, Jimenez is holding opponents to a .205 batting average and has 40 strikeouts, that’s more than Detroit starter Blaine Hardy. If Jimenez continues to perform in this fashion, he could establish himself as one of the league’s top relievers in years to come and could fill a relief spot for the AL roster. His case might be the hardest to make of anyone on this list, but it would not be impossible to see Jimenez’s name get called possibly if another reliever has to pull out of the All Star Game.
Detroit is still in a rebuilding phase, and despite being second in the division, is far from being a serious AL contender. The Tigers boast some impressive young talent that is beginning to shape this team into a possible future front-runner, but those days are still a little far down the road. These Motown standouts have the best cases of anyone on the Tigers roster of making it to D.C. and they need the help of Detroit fans everywhere to get there.