Detroit Tigers

3 Tigers who could make a significant leap in 2020

DETROIT, MI – JUNE 28: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park on June 28, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

These Detroit Tigers have a chance for a breakout performance this season. 

Over the past few years, the Detroit Tigers have been, without question, one of the absolute worst  teams in the MLB. In 2017 and 2018, Detroit ended the season with 98 losses, which in 2017 was good for the worst record in the league.

Then in 2019, the Tigers continued to reach new lows and ended the season with a record of 47-114, which again secured for them the worst record in baseball.

Despite all of the woes in the Motor City for the past three seasons, they do have a very talented crop of young players coming up who could turn around the trajectory of the team in the years to come, including former No. 1 MLB draft picks Casey Mize and Spencer Torkelson.

On top of that, there are also some more experienced players who are still young enough to be in the prime of their career, such as Daniel Norris and Jeimer Candelario.

Although the Tigers most likely will not have much success in the 2020 season, there are still a few players who may make some real strides and surprise some people.

3. Michael Fulmer

In 2016, Michael Fulmer burst onto the scene for the Tigers and put up some incredible performances from the mound. He also ended up pitching a consecutive 33 and 1/3 scoreless innings, which set a new record for Detroit rookie pitchers. 

By the end of that season, he had an ERA of 3.06 and won 11 games. Fulmer won the AL Rookie of the Year award for his performance and finished 10th overall in the Cy Young Award voting.

He impressed again in 2017 and was named to the All-Star team, but suffered a serious elbow injury later in the year that required season ending surgery.

The next year, Fulmer struggled and ended the 2018 campaign with a career-worst ERA of 4.69. Injuries also continued to plague Fulmer during ’18 where he had surgery to fix a torn meniscus in his right knee.

If that already didn’t seem like a long enough list of injuries, Fulmer then went on to miss the entire 2019 season with Tommy John surgery. 

Despite all the past injuries, Fulmer comes into 2020 with a chance to recapture his pervious form. With the season having been delayed due to COVID-19, Fulmer has now had more than a year of recovery and rehab.

Throughout it all, Fulmer has been making progress and has said he feels stronger than he would have anticipated after major surgery. 

Fulmer most likely won’t be slotted in the Tigers starting rotation come opening day, but with Daniel Norris having tested positive for coronavirus it leaves a spot in the rotation that Fulmer could fill.

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