Detroit Tigers strike out on MLB’s top-100 rankings for the second year in a row

Detroit Free Press

Tyler J. Davis | Detroit Free Press

Don’t expect any current Detroit Tigers to start the All-Star game in the near future, at least if you believe one set of MLB rankings to be true.

The Tigers were one of three teams that didn’t have any players ranked among the game’s top 100, regardless of position. Detroit, along with the Miami Marlins, drew that distinction for the second year in a row. The Pittsburgh Pirates had Josh Bell on the 2020 rankings, but he fell off this year’s iteration.

Former Tigers Max Scherzer and J.D. Martinez made the 2021 list, which was compiled by MLB Network’s research and production staffers, released this week. The rankings have inspired debate on social media, mostly because of the slot given to Fernando Tatis Jr. — who not only got p-a-i-d recently but was ranked in the top 10 despite just 143 career games.

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Martinez, the one-time Tigers slugger now with the Boston Red Sox, tumbled from last year’s ranking of No. 27 to No. 98 heading into the season. Scherzer, entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals — he spent five years with the Tigers — had a less dramatic slide, moving from No. 14 to No. 28.

The AL Central rival Chicago White Sox had nine players ranked, tied for the most in the majors with the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The list is the second time this month Detroit was snubbed. MLB used a hodgepodge of analytics, traditional stats and previous rankings to rate the top-10 players at each position. No Tigers made that list. (Guess they weren’t impressed enough by Willi Castro or Jeimer Candelario’s strong, but shortened, 2020 seasons.) The Pirates and Baltimore Orioles also did not have a player worthy of that ranking.

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While the Tigers missed the top-100 list for the second year in the row, at least they had Nicholas Castellanos at No. 87 in the 2019 rankings. The Marlins, despite making the playoffs last season, haven’t placed one player in the past three rankings, though Sandy Alcantara or Brian Anderson may get some attention with another strong season.

Perhaps by this time next year, Candelario, Casey Mize or another member of Detroit’s roster will get the short-lived honor.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at tjdavis@freepress.com or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

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