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  1. #1
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    Default Tiger Grades for 2012




    I usually do this right after the season ends, but I needed some time to mourn this season and get over the shocking end to it.

    My grades are more based on expectations than actual stats.

    Regular Season/Postseason

    Starters
    Doug Fister B+/A I hope we get a full season next year
    Rick Porcello C+/inc A team with a good IF defense would be a better fit
    Anibal Sanchez B-/A Slow start with the Tigers, but found his niche
    Max Scherzer A/A He figured it out this year.
    Drew Smyly B+/A This kid is a cool customer with a bright future.
    Justin Verlander A/A- The bar is high.....and he reaches it.


    Bullpen
    Al Albuquerque A/B+ He has lights-out closer stuff. Gotta see if he can handle the role
    Duane Below B-/inc They protected him a bit too much, need to see more.
    Joaquin Benoit B-/B- His second half was scary. Hope he figures out why.
    Phil Coke D+/A The most stunning turn around in the postseason.
    Octavio Dotel B-/B+ He is a steady, but unspectacular reliever.
    Darin Downs B/inc A very pleasant surprise, still don't know enough
    Jose Valverde B-/F He flirted with disaster all season and disaster went to bed with him in the postseason.
    Brayan Villareal B+/inc Once he slowed it down he was really good.

    Catchers
    Alex Avila C+/C (he's getting beat up, might not be a catcher for long)
    Gerald Laird B/C- (remember, based on expectations, he did his job)

    Infielders
    Miguel Cabrera A/B Triple Crown, but needed to be better in the postseason.
    Prince Fielder B+/F He cost the team a few games defensively. Terrible in the postseason.
    Omar Infante C+/B- Rather ordinary, which was an upgrade at 2b.
    Jhonny Peralta C-/B Last year was a fluke....
    Ryan Raburn F/inc If he'd been left as a bench utility guy, he would have had some more value.
    Ramon Santiago D-/Inc. Age is catching up with him.
    Danny Worth C/Inc. He will take over Santiago's former role and stay all season in 2013.

    Outfielders
    Quintin Berry B/D+ Jumpstarted the Tigers, but showed he is not a starter in the postseason. Needs to be back, but on the bench next year
    Brendan Boesch D/Inc Most disappointing season of any Tiger. Might be trade bait, but his value has dropped a bit.
    Andy Dirks A-/C Great regular season and "the slide" was the play of the year. Looked a bit ordinary in the postseason.
    Avisail Garcia B/B+ Has the athleticism for a very bright future.
    Austin Jackson A-/B- Brillant first half, should have been an All Star. Some surprising defensive second guessing in the postseason.
    Don Kelly D/B I don't expect much from him, came through in the postseason the only time they really asked him to.
    Delmon Young C/A If he could play defense his return would be a no-brainer. He was the teams lone offensive star in the postseason.

    Staff
    Jim Leyland C/B Not a big believer in Leyland, starting Raburn in a penant chase, leaving Valverde in when everyone else could see he was finished....but he does have a sold clubhouse and that's important.
    Jeff Jones A-/A+ His pitching staff was brilliant when they needed to be - the Benoit and Valverde meltdowns were not because of the staff
    Lloyd McClendon B-/D I don't know how much you can really blame him for in the postseason, but the approach of the Tiger hitters in the World Series was brutal.
    Gene Lamont C-/F He cost the Tigers a run in Game 2 of the World Series and his judgement is baffling at times. Third base coaches will always take lots of heat from us fans, but if Jim Leyland means what he says with roles being changed, Tom Brookens or Toby Harrah as the third base coach could mean the difference in a game or two.
    David Dombrowski A- Got Fielder (which I think was more of a Mike Illitch signing) He made a plus trade at the deadline (Jacob Turner will turn out to be closer to Andrew Miller than Jair Jurrgens). He doesn't have to make too many moves this offseason. They need to figure out if they need to spend a ton on a closer when they have Rondon & Albuquerque already here. They need to find an everyday LF, and I don't see the Tigers making a major free agent signing in the offseason, but I would not be shocked to see a major trade, one that involves Nick Castellanos. I have a feeling, and I don't know why, that David Price ends up with the Tigers this offseason. I'd love to see them try and get Martin Prado, but they are running out of prospect chips to play and as far as I am concerned, I don't care about prospects, the window is open now and they need to go for it now and not worry about 2015 and beyond, Mr. Illitch is frail and I don't expect the same approach as far as spending when he is gone.
    World Series or Bust. Guess What? Bust........again.

  2. #2
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    I think you're way off on Barry. He had a great start and was a big boost, but from June 28 on he posted a sub-600 OPS, and I don't expect him to be back unless they decide to carry a pinch-runner. I'd have given him a C- overall.

    23 games of really good, and finished with 61 games of really bad. Rod & Mario kept saying how great he was and I think people just believed them.

    Just my two cents. I'd have also given DD a lower grade, but nice job!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I think you're way off on Barry. He had a great start and was a big boost, but from June 28 on he posted a sub-600 OPS, and I don't expect him to be back unless they decide to carry a pinch-runner. I'd have given him a C- overall.

    23 games of really good, and finished with 61 games of really bad. Rod & Mario kept saying how great he was and I think people just believed them.

    Just my two cents. I'd have also given DD a lower grade, but nice job!
    Yup.. While it would seem that given what seems to be a decent eye at the plate, Berry could be a much better hitter with a reworked swing he could actually control, there is little reason to believe that is going to happen at this late date in his career.
    "Well that's it - you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear" - Rock Man

  4. #4
    Motor City Sonics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I think you're way off on Barry. He had a great start and was a big boost, but from June 28 on he posted a sub-600 OPS, and I don't expect him to be back unless they decide to carry a pinch-runner. I'd have given him a C- overall.

    23 games of really good, and finished with 61 games of really bad. Rod & Mario kept saying how great he was and I think people just believed them.

    Just my two cents. I'd have also given DD a lower grade, but nice job!

    I had to grade him a bit up because of expectation and he did really help the Tigers at a time when they needed it. Can't discount the perfect stolen base record either. I think the truer Berry is what we saw in the postseason. He's okay as a fifth outfielder, no problem with him in that role at all, I think because of his speed he is a slightly better fifth OF than Kelly. I think he became much less aggressive in the postseason with his running and I don't know if it was him being hesitant or the coaches telling him to be that way.
    World Series or Bust. Guess What? Bust........again.

  5. #5
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    I would have to give Dave a B-/B grade for the horrible bench.

  6. #6
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    Think too much is made of Porcello/ground ball pitcher/marginal IF. The others in the rotation threw grounders too but they also had much better stuff. Porcello is eminently hittable and its not just grounders past the IF. D+.
    Two words: Costa Rica.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor City Sonics View Post
    I had to grade him a bit up because of expectation and he did really help the Tigers at a time when they needed it. Can't discount the perfect stolen base record either. I think the truer Berry is what we saw in the postseason. He's okay as a fifth outfielder, no problem with him in that role at all, I think because of his speed he is a slightly better fifth OF than Kelly. I think he became much less aggressive in the postseason with his running and I don't know if it was him being hesitant or the coaches telling him to be that way.
    I think the real Berry is what he did in July-Sept. He's never been a good hitter, even in the minors. He had his 15 minutes of fame, it happens all the time. You don't want to be tricked into thinking he can duplicate it.

    Eidt: He hit .192/.250/.269 in the postseason, including an 0-for-8 in the WS. Even worse than he did July-Sept. So I'm not sure what you meant by that. That's a horrific batting line.
    Last edited by Yoda; 11-04-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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    I think what happened is that opposing organizations probably didn't focus a lot of scouting efforts on Berry, thinking he wouldn't get to the majors. Then once in the majors it took them awhile to figure him out, but once they did they really exploited his weaknesses. But I have to give him credit for getting the Tigers through a period of time when Jackson was out, and Jackson was their best player at the time, even better than Cabrera.
    World Series or Bust. Guess What? Bust........again.

  9. #9
    will the thrill is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I think you're way off on Barry. He had a great start and was a big boost, but from June 28 on he posted a sub-600 OPS, and I don't expect him to be back unless they decide to carry a pinch-runner. I'd have given him a C- overall.

    23 games of really good, and finished with 61 games of really bad. Rod & Mario kept saying how great he was and I think people just believed them.

    Just my two cents. I'd have also given DD a lower grade, but nice job!
    Berry's numbers with runners on base made his season a lot better than I originally thought. QB was great all year with runners on (all the more reason he shouldn't bat 2nd ever again)
    Put me on record. Prince Fielder will still OPS 850+ in years 7-8-9 of this contract. (sucks that my signature has to stay this for 7 years now)

  10. #10
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    Berry can't hit a major league average fastball. Once teams started realizing this, and throwing him fastballs, he struggled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by will the thrill View Post
    Berry's numbers with runners on base made his season a lot better than I originally thought. QB was great all year with runners on (all the more reason he shouldn't bat 2nd ever again)
    That sort of thing isn't a skill that is able to be repeated at will though. It doesn't happen from year to year. Next year it's just as likely he'd be awful in those situations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysthrowheat View Post
    Berry can't hit a major league average fastball. Once teams started realizing this, and throwing him fastballs, he struggled.
    That's what my eyes said. He couldn't catch up to 91 very often, and chased like Laird used to at the neck.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    That's what my eyes said. He couldn't catch up to 91 very often, and chased like Laird used to at the neck.
    Somewhere along the way Berry should have learned to pattern himself after Polanco. Placido's hitting style with Berry's legs would be a combination that could keep a guy in the majors. But I wonder if Berry just isn't strong enough to control the bat like Placido.
    "Well that's it - you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear" - Rock Man

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    Dan Gilmore is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Since I see Berry as a pretty marginal player, with speed being his only real tool, why has he never learned to bunt competently? It seems like such an obvious skill for him to have developed by now. Getting good at bunting would make him something more than a pinch runner, although not that much more.

    Edit: Not a big fan of bunting, BTW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gilmore View Post
    Since I see Berry as a pretty marginal player, with speed being his only real tool, why has he never learned to bunt competently? It seems like such an obvious skill for him to have developed by now. Getting good at bunting would make him something more than a pinch runner, although not that much more.

    Edit: Not a big fan of bunting, BTW.
    The strategy works best for a bat control, slap hitter though. Not much point in a left hand batter bringing the 3b in into take away the bunt if he can't punch the ball back past him into left field. The hitting style and the bunting talent have to work together to get the maximum value. When Berry isn't bunting he tends to be flailing. Getting the 3b in close and then grounding out to 2b is not the combination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    The strategy works best for a bat control, slap hitter though. Not much point in a left hand batter bringing the 3b in into take away the bunt if he can't punch the ball back past him into left field. The hitting style and the bunting talent have to work together to get the maximum value. When Berry isn't bunting he tends to be flailing. Getting the 3b in close and then grounding out to 2b is not the combination.
    G2, I agree, just surprised he is not good at bunting, and that if he's mostly riding the pines, he should look to improve some facet of his game, however small the value.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gilmore View Post
    G2, I agree, just surprised he is not good at bunting, and that if he's mostly riding the pines, he should look to improve some facet of his game, however small the value.
    Absolutely. What the heck is a guy doing wasting his time in the minors waiting to be struck by lightning that will turn him into Barry Bonds instead of working on every facet of his game that could make him a marginally more useful player to a ML club?

    I guess no one ever claimed these guys were geniuses.
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    Good job MCS. We could all quibble with a grade here and there, but I think you've captured it pretty well.

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