The Detroit Tigers went from first to worst as a team in 2015, but they still have several players who are among the best at their respective positions in the game of baseball. Choosing one player above all the rest this season isn't as easy as it has been in other years, when the Tigers had the American League's MVP on the team. Here are the candidates for the Detroit Tigers' most valuable player in 2015.
Miguel Cabrera picked up his fourth batting title in five seasons, batting .338. He led the American League in on-base percentage at .438, finishing 38 points ahead of the Angels' Mike Trout. Cabrera also finished second in the league in OPS, behind Trout. Cabrera was second in the league with a 162 wRC+.
Defensively, Cabrera ranked second in the league among first basemen with +4 defensive runs saved (DRS), although UZR rated him slightly below league average. Either way, the positional adjustment for a first baseman will hurt his WAR, which ranked third among Tigers' position players at 4.4 fWAR.
Ian Kinsler led the Tigers in runs scored and runs saved. He ranked second among all fielders in the American League with +19 defensive runs saved (DRS), and led all second basemen with +6.8 UZR/150. He might be the team's best shot at a Gold Glove this season.
Kinsler led the major leagues with 61 multi-hit games in 2015. His quantity of work surpassed all other Tigers both at the plate and in the field, leading the team with 425 assists and 1,324 innings played. He also led the team with 675 plate appearances, 624 at-bats, 185 hits, and 35 doubles. Kinsler's 94 runs scored also led the Tigers.
J.D. Martinez was the only Tigers player to finish among the American League's top ten in WAR, ranking seventh among batters with 5.0 WAR. He also ranked seventh in the league with 38 home runs and 102 RBI, easily leading the team in both categories. Martinez ranked eighth in the league with a 137 wRC+, and seventh in slugging percentage, which led the team.
In the outfield, Martinez ranked second in the league among right fielders with +4 DRS, and ninth overall among all outfielders. That is a huge upgrade over what the Tigers had the previous season. UZR/150 also ranks Martinez second among right fielders at +7.4 runs above average.
|J.D. Martinez||653||.282||38||101||92||.344||.535||.879||.372||+ 4||+7.4||5.0|
David Price is the only pitcher on the team who belongs in this conversation. Although he was with the team just four months of the six month season, he posted 3.4 fWAR during that time frame. He finished the season with a higher WAR total than any pitcher in the American league and higher than any other player on the Tigers.
Of all the players who wore a Tigers' uniform in 2015, none was better at his job than Price. He finishes the season with an 18-5 record, leading the American League with a 2.45 ERA. He posted a 1.08 WHIP in 220 innings of work with 225 strikeouts and 47 walks. He is one of the finalists again for the American League Cy Young Award for his work between Detroit and Toronto.
Who is your pick for Tigers' MVP in 2015?