SLEEPER Todd Jones gets no respect from fantasy owners. He's one of the last closers taken, but has the potential to finish among the league leaders in saves.
BUST Kenny Rogers, on the other hand, can't continue to be as good as he's been the last two seasons. Something's got to give.
HITTER TO WATCH: Brent Clevlen, OF There's no room at the inn in Detroit for a hitting prospect; Clevlen may get another cup of coffee, but he struggles badly against average breaking stuff.
PITCHER TO WATCH: Andrew Miller, LHP
Miller has the best stuff of any lefty in the minors, but his control wasn't good in college and he'll need to improve it before he can crack the Tigers' rotation.
MLB Preview 2007
FIXED Yes, the Tigers shocked the baseball world last season, but there was still something missing: a middle-of-the-order guy who could dent outfield walls and make consistent contact. So the addition of Gary Sheffield is as natural as Fergie joining the Black Eyed Peas. Sheffield might be the best contact hitter among the power guys of his generation. He's hit 34 or more homers and batted at least .290 in each of the past six seasons in which he's played more than 140 games. Plus, after leaving the Yankees on contentious terms, the man has a major chip on his shoulder. And history shows that an angry Sheff is a productive Sheff.
NEEDS FIXING With the help of hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, Curtis Granderson is trying to cut down his K's, which soared to 174 last season. "We're just trying to simplify the swing," Granderson says. He used to hold his hands in front of his face, draw them back as the pitch was delivered, then swing. Now he keeps his hands back at the beginning of his swing. "We're trying to get from Point A to Point B without wasted movement," he says. Or wasted at-bats.
"I wouldn't trade Cameron Maybin straight up for Alfonso Soriano." -- GM Dave Dombrowski on the Tigers' talented center fielder, who turns 20 just after Opening Day.
What a difference a World Series appearance makes. As the Tigers' win total rose from 71 in 2005 to 95 in 2006, average game attendance spiked from 25,306 to 32,049. Second-year skipper Jim Leyland is the unofficial governor of Michigan, and the love between fans and players has never been more evident, according to Bill Ferris, creator of DetroitTigersWeblog.Com.
"Look for the Tigers to return to the Series again. Their pitching is just too good. Remember, many of their key arms still very young and improving. The main worry is will Todd Jones still be a good enough closer."