Top Five Detroit Tigers

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5. IF Carlos Guillen

Perhaps Guillen's greatest value comes from his versatility. He should qualify at shortstop, first base, and a corner outfield slot this year, and possibly third base as well. for leagues that count walks or on-base percentage, Guillen is even more valuable.

Guillen hit 11 less home runs in 2008 than he did the year before when he smacked 21. If he can get up around 15-20 homers again, he should have some value.

4. Justin Verlander

Verlander's stock was at an all-time high entering 2008, but, like the rest of his teammates, he struggled. One thing you can still count on with Verlander though is strikeouts. He's one of the AL's nastiest pitchers, stuff wise. Last year he finished 11-17. Those losses should come down some this season.

The only real worry is walks. Verlander posted a 1.40 WHIP last season.

3. Magglio Ordonez

Ordonez has become of the league's most feared hitters after entering his 30s. He'll be 35 this year, so the questions becomes when will his inevitable decline begin? A .300+ batting average is still likely in the cards. But what about the power? Ordonez hit seven less homers in 2008 than a year before. Corner outfielders are counted on for home runs and RBI, so Ordonez may not be in the elite tier anymore.

2. Curtis Granderson

Granderson does it all: he'll hit for a high average, give you 25+ steals, score a ton of runs, and hit his fair share of homers. He contributes in all five major categories. His level of play dropped some last year due to injuries, but he should be ready to assume his mantle as one of the AL's best center fielders again this season.

1. Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera finished 2008 with this fantasy line: .292 AVG, 37 HRs, 127 RBI, 85 R. What's notable is that people considered his season a disappointment. Cabrera, just 25, is one of the most feared hitters in the game and a legit first round pick in any draft. He should even qualify for third base this season, even though he'll mostly play first.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Ricky O'Donnell published on March 12, 2009 12:17 PM.

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