Just because the Detroit Tigers are coming off a 114-loss season doesn't mean their roster is totally without hope. Struggling through a rebuild may be hurting the public perception of all of their players, but there are still some gems in Detroit.
With that in mind, here are the three most underrated Tigers players heading into the 2020 MLB season.
1. Matthew Boyd
It's no secret that Matthew Boyd has some value, and that's why he's being floated as a prime trade target for a contender. But "some value" doesn't do justice to how well he pitched in 2019. His 4.56 ERA wasn't anything special, but he looked like a genuine ace with a 3.61 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) — good for 11th among all qualifying pitchers. His 30.2 percent strikeout rate beat out his walk rate by 23.9 percent, which was also the eighth-best differential among qualifying pitchers.
2. Victor Reyes
You're not going to be blown away by Victor Reyes' counting stats from 2019 — 3 home runs, 9 steals, 29 runs scored and 25 RBI in 69 games. He hit for average very well, though (.304), and he posted some really promising contact numbers, with a 40.2 percent hard-hit rate and 11.2 percent soft-hit rate. The 25-year-old still has room to grow, and the Tigers could have a future All-Star on their hands if Reyes continues to progress.
3. JaCoby Jones
It would be easy to write JaCoby Jones off as a bust. He's made just shy of 1,000 career plate appearances since 2016, and he's only slashed .211/.276/.369. That reputation doesn't give him credit for the progress he's made throughout the years, however, and he could be well on his way to becoming a solid contributor. The 27-year-old has improved his wOBA every year, hitting .311 in 2019. He set career-best marks in just about every area, also posting a .195 ISO, cutting his strikeout rate to 28.2 percent and improving his walk rate to 8.1 percent. He also combined the highest hard-hit rate (43.4 percent), highest fly-ball rate (36.8 percent) and lowest soft-hit rate (13.2 percent) of his career, showing some promising pop.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.