As I worked through the American League Central, my first thought was the Royals don't have much in the way of Fantasy assets. Then I got to the Tigers.

While the Tigers do have six players in my Top 300, they're all there in the borderline starter sense ... at best. Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler are gone. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are still there, but you'd be forgiven if you didn't recognize them.

Yes, they have youth coming, but only one of those prospects is anywhere close to draft-able. It's going to be a long summer in Detroit, but you may not notice, because you may not have any Tigers on your Fantasy teams.

Tigers in my Top 300
Player NameRoto RankH2H RankRoto Pos RankH2H Pos Rank
#72 #92 #11 #11
#171 #292 #16 #17
#231 #249 #22 #22
#238 #218 #22 #24
#257 #205 #60 #58
#299 #250 #25 #23

Players in Scott's Top 100 Prospects
1 Franklin Perez
The key to the Justin Verlander deal, Perez took to pitching late as an amateur, which is surprising given how refined he is, able to command all three of his pitches while working to develop a fourth. It's that sort of aptitude that allows for a forecast beyond even his present production, which is pretty good in its own right.  Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact:  don't count on it
2 Matt Manning
Though he still has a ways to go with his mechanics and arsenal, the performance backs up the Tigers' decision to select Manning with the ninth pick of the 2016 draft even though his attention was divided between baseball and basketball in high school. He's raw, but his long levers and athleticism give him a high ceiling.  Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact:  don't count on it
3 Christin Stewart
Even with the Tigers entering rebuild mode, Stewart spent the entire season at Double-A Erie, where he fell just a little short of matching the 30 home runs and 86 walks from his breakthrough 2016. Power and patience are still what he brings to the table, though, making him something like another Carlos Santana, if we're thinking optimistically.  Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact:  midseason hopeful

*Prospect notes from Scott White

Things to Know

  • The batted ball data from 2017 suggests Cabrera and Castellanos should improve on last year's numbers. Then again, there's reason to believe Comerica's measurement tools were not calibrated correctly. Why does that matter? Looking solely at Cabrera's batted ball data from last year would lead you to believe he's still an elite first basemen. But looking solely at his production you'd have reason to think he may be approaching the end. 
  • Michael Fulmer's upside was already limited by his lack of strikeouts. Now he has injury concerns and is pitching on a team that isn't trying to win. I like Fulmer more in points because he could compile a lot of innings, but I would imagine he'll be drafted long before I want to take him in most leagues.
  • Candelario has some prospect pedigree and is still just 24 years old but, like Castellanos, it's hard to see where he's going to stand out. He doesn't steal bases and he's never topped .283 or 15 home runs in a minor league season. He does consistently post good OBP numbers, but his value is likely limited to deep Roto leagues and AL-only.

Lineup & Rotation

Batting order    
1 Mikie Mahtook LF
2 Jeimer Candelario 3B
3 Miguel Cabrera 1B
4 Victor Martinez DH
5 Nicholas Castellanos RF
6 James McCann C
7 Leonys Martin CF
8 Dixon Machado 2B
9 Jose Iglesias SS
SP Michael Fulmer
SP Matthew Boyd
SP Jordan Zimmermann
SP Mike Fiers
SP Daniel Norris
CL Shane Greene
RP Alex Wilson
RP Travis Wood