Simply by playing regularly, Jose Iglesias managed to compile decent counting totals relative to a lot of middle infielders, but make no mistake about it: he's not a good hitter. He puts the ball in play consistently (13.3 percent strikeout rate last season), but the quality of that contact is generally poor and he rarely walks (4.3 percent walk rate). Iglesias posted a measly 1.0 Brls/PA, ranking 457th out of 540 hitters with at least 30 batted-ball events. Iglesias has posted identical .283 wOBA marks the past two seasons, with wRC+ marks of 72 and 71. He's a plus on defense and the Tigers figure to let Iglesias continue to play every day as they begin their rebuild, but regular playing time is not enough to make a hitter of Iglesias' caliber a worthwhile target in standard leagues.
Iglesias will hit eighth in the Tigers' Grapefruit League lineup for Monday's game against the Orioles and appears likely to frequently occupy that spot in the order when the season begins, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Viewed as a candidate for the two hole after seeing most of his at-bats in that spot during spring training, Iglesias' assignment as the No. 8 hitter Monday is significant with manager Ron Gardenhire deploying all of the team's projected regulars in the lineup. It appears Gardenhire is comfortable using Jeimer Candelario as the No. 2 hitter in light of the solid on-base skills the third baseman has shown this spring, so Iglesias' base-stealing and run-scoring opportunities could be limited if the current lineup configuration holds for a good portion of the campaign. Even if the switch-hitting Candelario drops in the lineup against southpaws to open room near the top of the order for Iglesias, the shortstop would still rank as a lower-end fantasy option at his position due to his lack of high-end speed or power.
Iglesias has primarily batted second this spring and could find himself there when the regular season begins, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. The 28-year-old has a career .316 on-base percentage and was at just .288 last season, so he's perhaps not a great fit for the top of a lineup. But Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire is generally fairly traditional in his approach, valuing players who can bunt runners over and put the ball in play most at-bats at No. 2. Iglesias usually batted at the bottom of the order in 2017, but with Ian Kinsler now suiting up for the Angels, the top of Detroit's lineup has an opening. Iglesias doesn't offer a ton in fantasy, but he could be a moderate source of runs and steals if he spends most of his time hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera.
Iglesias signed a one-year contract with the Tigers on Wednesday, thus avoiding arbitration. The deal is worth a reported $6.275 million, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Iglesias is set to reprise his role as the Tigers' starting shortstop in 2018 after appearing in 130 games for the club last season. Despite his regular playing time, not much should be expected from the glove-first shortstop from a fantasy standpoint, as he hit just .255/.288/.369 with six homers and seven stolen bases in 2017.
General manager Al Avila said he expects Iglesias to be the Tigers' starting shortstop in 2018, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. The Tigers were apparently shopping Iglesias around, though it appears the team didn't receive any noteworthy offers. That may change, but for now, Iglesias is poised to return as the team's starter in 2018. He's a glove-first shortstop who hit just .255/.288/.369 with six homers and seven stolen bases last season, so he can probably be left alone outside of deeper leagues.
Iglesias is not in the lineup for Sunday's matchup against the Twins. The Tigers are sitting a a few of their regular starters Sunday, and Iglesias is one of them. Dixon Machado is starting at shortstop and hitting ninth in place of Iglesias, who posted a .255 batting average and .657 OPS over 130 games this season.
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