The Detroit Tigers finished the 2019 season with a league-worst 47-114 record, but despite what their record may indicate, the club still has plenty of young talent that can carry the team to a much better season in 2020. To improve on last year's finish will require some more young players to step up and help the Tigers organization show their fans that the club's rebuild is headed in the right direction.
With that in mind, here are three Detroit Tigers players poised to breakout during the 2020 MLB season.
3. Niko Goodrum
There wasn't much to cheer for in Detroit last season, but Tigers fans always found reason to voice their support for Niko Goodrum. The 27-year-old speedster developed into a fan favorite in 2019, slashing .248/.322/.421 with 27 doubles, 12 homers and 45 RBI. Goodrum was also an absolute menace on the basepaths (29.0 feet-per-second sprint speed), swiping 12 bases on 15 attempts. Getting on base at a higher clip will be key for a Goodrum breakout in this year, but his strong second half in 2019 is a good indicator that may happen. In 33 games after the All-Star Break, the 27-year-old saw an uptick in both batting average (.277) and on-base percentage (.338).
2. Victor Reyes
Not much was expected from Victor Reyes last season, but in limited action, he showed Tigers fans that he has some solid breakout potential for 2020. A .222 career hitter heading into 2019, the 25-year-old outfielder slashed a surprising .304/.336/.431 with a team-high five triples in 69 games played (292 plate appearances). Carrying over the kind of production he had last season will be key to a breakout 2020 season for Reyes, but early returns from Spring Training (1.006 OPS) are a good indicator that he's well on his way for a strong 2020.
1. Joe Jimenez
His 4.37 ERA and 1.32 WHIP from last year aren't exactly what you want to see out of your team's projected closer, but Joe Jimenez has arguably the most breakout potential of any player on the Tigers' roster. The 25-year-old fireballer was named Detroit's closer after Shane Greene was traded to the Atlanta Braves last season, and instead of folding under the pressure, he absolutely thrived. In 19 appearances after the trade deadline, Jimenez was as reliable as can be, posting a much improved 3.06 ERA while going 9-of-10 in save opportunities. Improved command will be key for Jimenez if he wants to establish himself as one of the league's more reliable closers in 2020, but if his Spring Training performance is any indication (1.00 WHIP), he's well on his way to a breakout year.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. 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.