While the Detroit Tigers sank to the bottom of their division standings in 2015, the team still has a number of individual players who deserve recognition for their outstanding work on the field of play. Here is a look at some of them.
Most Valuable Player
Miguel Cabrera is lined up to win his fourth batting title in the past five years, and he will lead the league in on base percentage while finishing second to Mike Trout in OPS. But Cabrera missed six weeks of the season on the disabled list and and will rank only third on his own team in WAR, behind JD Martinez and Ian Kinsler. He would rank fifth if you count Yoenis Cespedes and David Price.
Cespedes has been getting some attention in the media circus known as New York City, having sparked the Mets to a strong finish and an upset win over Washington in the National League East Division. Unfortunately, two months of a six-month season won't be enough to win an MVP award, but he'll be listed on many ballots. Kinsler, Martinez, and Cabrera currently rank 9th, 12th, and 14th among AL position players, so don't be surprised to see them listed on some MVP ballots, but the race will come down to Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson for the MVP in the American League.
No Tiger pitcher belongs in any award conversations this season, with the exception of former Tiger David Price. The former Tigers' ace leads the league with 6.4 WAR and a 2.45 ERA, just ahead of the Astros' Dallas Keuchel. With 18 wins and 5 losses -- if that still matters to anyone -- Price arrived in Toronto just as the Jays took off and blew past the Yankees to claim the American League East Division crown.
Rookie of the Year
James McCann will easily be the Tigers' rookie of the 2015 season, but will be fortunate to crack the top five in the American League voting. Shortstops Francisco Lindor of the Indians and Carlos Correa of the Astros figure to get most of the attention from a short list of rookies who logged at least 300 plate appearances.
Silver Slugger Awards
Cabrera should win the silver slugger at first base despite a strong season from the Orioles' Chris Davis, who slugged 43 home runs with 110 RBI thus far.
Kinsler is in the thick of the race for a Silver Slugger award at second base with the Indians' Jason Kipnis and the Astros' Jose Altuve. Kipnis leads in WAR, and Altuve is among the leaders in batting average and easily leads the league in stolen bases.
J.D. Martinez ranks fifth in the American League in WAR among outfielders, as well as second in RBI, fourth in wOBA, and fourth in wRC+. Three outfielders will be awarded, and Martinez will be close. Cespedes ranked eighth in the league in WAR despite being moved to the National League for the last two months of the season.
Gold Glove Awards
Cabrera's defensive numbers are much improved this season. His +4 DRS rank second only to the Yankees' Mark Teixeira, and are tied with Albert Pujols and Chris Davis. Cabrera has logged more innings at first base than any of the others. Cabrera's UZR/150 is -1.2 for the season, and he ranks fifth in the league in RZR. For the old-fashioned types, his fielding percentage of .996 trails Davis's .998.
Kinsler should be a favorite to win the Gold Glove at second base. His +18 DRS is more than double that of his nearest rival, the Rays' Logan Forsythe, who is at + 8 DRS. Kinsler's 5.8 UZR/150 ranks third behind former Tiger Omar Infante and the White Sox's Carlos Sanchez. Kinsler's 12 errors are the second most in the league, and that will hurt his chances.
Jose Iglesias was in the conversation for best defensive shortstop before he went on the disabled list, although some of the metrics are not kind to the Tigers young star. Iglesias has a -3.3 DRS and -4.5 UZR/150. Lindor is the leader in both of those categories at +7 and +14.9, respectively. Lindor has fewer innings, but not that many fewer than the Orioles J.J. Hardy, who is second in both departments.
J.D. Martinez is the surprise entry among the Tigers' defenders this season, although not likely to win any hardware. Martinez ranks among the league's top ten outfielders with +4 DRS and is 11th with 5.4 UZR, and 13th with 7.9 UZR/150. Cespedes ranks third with 20.8 UZR/150 and sixth with +11 DRS. But again, four months does not a season make.
An honorable mention goes to James McCann, the Tigers' rookie catcher who did not commit an error all season, and was second to the Jays' Russell Martin throwing out 40 percent of would-be base stealers. McCann allowed only three passed balls to Martin's 19. DRS favors the Orioles' Caleb Joseph at +9 and the Royals' Salvador Perez at +6. In the end, the award might go to the one with the most pinstripes. That would be the other McCann, Brian.
Manager/ Executive of the Year
The Tigers have no candidates for these awards this season.