Detroit Tigers All Time Starting Lineup

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The Detroit Tigers can trace their roots back to 1901. Since their inception they have been known as the Detroit Tigers. The organization has made 16 playoff appearances, won 11 pennants, and 4 world championship. They have retired 6 numbers. Charles Gehringer (2), Hank Greenberg (5), Al Kaline (6), Sparky Anderson (11), Hal Newhouser (16), and Willie Horton (23)

Below is a lineup of the best single seasons by position. Each player is only eligible for one season so we picked their best season.

 

Catcher

Rudy York, 1938

Key Stats: 4.6 WAR, .298/.417/.579, 86 R, 138 H, 27 2B, 2 3B, 33 HR, 126 RBI, 92 BB, .995 OPS, 42% CS

Awards: AL All-Star

 

First Base

Hank Greenberg

Hank Greenberg, 1937

Key Stats: 7.7 WAR, .337/.436/.668, 137 R, 200 H, 49 2B, 14 3B, 40 HR, 184 RBI (1st AL), 102 BB, 1.105 OPS, 397 TB

Awards: AL All-Star, 3rd in MVP

 

Second Base

Charlie Gehringer, 1929

Key Stats: 5.8 WAR, .339/.405/.532, 131 R (1st AL), 215 H (1st AL), 45 2B (1st AL), 19 3B (1st AL), 13 HR, 106 RBI, 27 SB (1st AL), 64 BB, .936 OPS, 337 TB, 11 SH

 

Third Base

Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera, 2013

Key Stats: 7.2 WAR, .330 (1st AL)/.393/.606 (1st AL), 109 R, 205 H, 40 2B, 44 HR (1st AL), 139 RBI (1st AL), 66 BB, .999 OPS (1st AL), 377 TB (1st AL), 17 IBB

Awards: AL All-Star, Silver Slugger, AL MVP

 

Shortstop

Alan Trammell

Alan Trammell, 1987

Key Stats: 8.2 WAR, .343/.402/.551, 109, 205 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 28 HR, 105 RBI, 21 SB, 60 BB, .953 OPS, 329 TB

Awards: AL All-Star, Silver Slugger, 2nd in MVP

 

Left Field

Rocky Colavito, 1961

Key Stats: 7.6 WAR, .290/.402/.580, 129 R, 169 H, 30 2B, 2 3B, 45 HR, 140 RBI, 113 BB, .982 OPS, 338 TB

Awards: AL All-Star, 8th in MVP

 

Center Field

Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb, 1911

Key Stats: 10.7 WAR (1st AL), .420 (1st AL)/.467/.621 (1st AL), 147 R (1st AL), 248 H (1st AL), 47 2B (1st AL), 24 3B (1st AL), 8 HR, 127 RBI (1st AL), 83 SB (1st AL), 1.088 OPS (1st AL), 367 TB (1st AL)

Awards: AL MVP

 

Right Field

Harry Heilmann, 1921

Key Stats: 6.8 WAR, .394 (1st AL)/.444/.606, 114 R, 237 H (1st AL), 43 2B, 14 3B, 19 HR, 139 RBI, 53 BB, 1.051 OPS, 365 TB, 15 SH

 

Designated Hitter

Norm Cash, 1961

Key Stats: 9.2 WAR, .361 (1st AL)/.487 (1st AL)/.662, 119 R, 193 H (1st AL), 22 2B, 8 3B, 41 HR, 132 RBI, 11 SB, 124 BB, 1.148 OPS (1st AL), 354 TB, 19 IBB (1st AL)

Awards: AL All-Star, 4th in MVP

 

Starting Pitcher

Hal Newhouser

Hal Newhouser, 1946

Key Stats: 9.5 WAR, 26 Wins (1st AL), 1.94 ERA (1st AL), 1.97 FIP (1st AL), 29 CG, 6 SHO, 292 2/3 IP, 275 K, 1.069 WHIP (1st AL), 6.6 H/9 (1st AL), 8.5 K/9 (1st AL), .201 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, 2nd in MVP

 

Starting Pitcher

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander, 2011

Key Stats: 8.4 WAR (1st AL), 24 Wins (1st AL), 2.40 ERA (1st AL), 2.99 FIP, 4 CG, 2 SHO, 251 IP (1st AL), 250 K (1st AL), 0.920 WHIP (1st AL), 6.2 H/9 (1st AL), 9.0 K/9, 4.39 K/BB, .192 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, AL CY Young, AL MVP

 

Starting Pitcher

Denny McLain, 1968

Key Stats: 7.4 WAR, 31 Wins (1st AL), 1.96 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 28 CG (1st AL), 6 SHO, 336 IP (1st AL), 280 K, 0.905 WHIP, 6.5 H/9, 4.44 K/BB (1st AL), .200 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, AL CY Young, AL MVP

 

Starting Pitcher

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer, 2013

Key Stats: 6.7 WAR, 21 Wins (1st AL), 2.90 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 214 1/3 IP, 240 K, 0.970 WHIP (1st AL), 6.4 H/9, 10.1 K/9, 4.29 K/BB, .198 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, AL CY Young

 

Starting Pitcher

Mickey Lolich, 1971

Key Stats: 8.6 WAR, 25 Wins (1st AL), 2.92 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 29 CG (1st AL), 4 SHO, 376 IP (1st AL), 308 K (1st AL), 1.138 WHIP, 7.4 K/9, .237 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, 2nd in CY Young, 5th in MVP

 

Closer

Jose Valverde

Jose Valverde, 2011

Key Stats: 2.0 WAR, 49 SV (1st AL), 75 G (1st AL), 72 1/3 IP, 69 K, 1.189 WHIP, 6.5 H/9, 8.6 K, .198 BAA

Awards: AL All-Star, 5th in CY Young

 

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3 thoughts on “Detroit Tigers All Time Starting Lineup

  1. Completely disagree about RF – Heilmann hit .394 in a year when 10 players hit .350 or better, where 0 pitchers had 5 or more K/IP. And he didn’t even win the batting title that year.

    On the contrary, Al Kaline in 1955 played Right Field, hit .340 with 27 HR, and had a WAR of 8.2. Did I mention he’s the youngest player ever to win a batting title? Talk about “all time” worthy.

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    • B_Mike, I respect your opinion and to an extent I agree. However, when faced with choosing between two great seasons one is forced to pick one and leave the other. The most challenging part of this project was comparing players who played in different eras. All of your points are valid. I cannot argue that Kaline’s season was an all time great.

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  2. You’re free to mention that Kaline was the youngest to win a batting title as long as you make it clear it was the only one he won. Heilmann had 4 . . . and a career avg that was better than Kaline’s title season avg.

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