Previewing the Tigers: Brennan Boesch primed for big season

Brennan Boesch could be primed for a big season -- but I'm keeping my predictions a bit lower

We're continuing our previewing of the Detroit Tigers player by player. Expect much of the bullpen and the bench players to be doubled up a bit during the final week before the season, but we'll go one a day until then, by uniform numbers. I reserve the right to go out of order either on purpose or by accident.

Brennan Boesch #26

Outfielder

I'm excited about Brennan Boesch. You're excited about Brennan Boesch. Who isn't excited about Brennan Boesch?! (Opposing pitchers, I'm guessing.) If Boesch can stay healthy -- he suffered a season-ending injury to his thumb in early August that required surgery -- he has one of the most enviable lineup spots in baseball to take advantage of. Boesch will be batting in the No. 2 spot, ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on most days. So you know he's going to see pitches, and you know he's going to score runs when he gets on base. Did I mention I'm excited about Brennan Boesch? Oh, I did? Aren't you? Of course you are!

A key for the left-handed hitting Boesch will be not trying to do too much. Last May was his worst month of the season. He batted .186 with a lowly .226 OBP and .326 slugging average. The issue? His approach at the plate was admittedly -- though I can't find a link to the original story -- trying to do too much. As soon as he got back to the style that brought him successes earlier, he batted fine for the rest of the season -- well, until the injury, anyway.

So what can we expect from Boesch? Well, it's interesting he's following only a few days behind Delmon Young in this series, because the two make an interesting contrast. Boesch will hit for closer to .275 average, but he's also much more likely to accept a base on balls. He'll also hit with a bit more isolated power. So call it a .275 / .340 / .460 slash line. Oh, if only Delmon would walk ... Anyway, if lineup protection does in fact exist, Boesch may even have a better year than that. We'll just have to see.

Boesch will be fielding in right, taking over what was Magglio Ordonez's own haunt. So, well, I'm not even concerned about the defense but I'm sure he'll be fine.

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