The final hours, seconds, and minutes of 2012 are dwindling to a close. With 2012 just about over, I find myself sitting back and reflecting on the Detroit Tigers 2012 season. It was a season that started with gargantuan expectations, after owner Mick Illitch opened up his wallet and added Prince Fielder.
The 2012 season wasn’t a dream season per se’. There was lots of highs and lows, but in the end the Tigers found themselves in the World Series. However, they fell four wins short of their ultimate goal of winning a World Championship.
Lets take a look forward now to the fresh start we can call 2013.
‘New Years Resolutions’ are typically something we say we’re going to try do to better ourselves in the coming year. Most of them are common goals. Some people want to quit smoking, lose weight, try and do something in their job career. But by two months in to trying to get their goal- people give up.
But, for these 5 Tigers’ players, I hope they follow through and persue.
Alex Avila: When the season began, Avila was coming off an All Star season and receiving his first Silver Slugger award. But 2012 would be a season that would fail into comparison his 2011 campaign. In 2011 Avila hit .295/.389/.506, but in 2012 he hit a pedestrian like .243/.352/.384. Avila’s New Years Resolution is making more contact in 2013.
In 2011 you couldn’t sneak a fastball past the Tigers’ catcher, and he was taking the ball the other way with authority. In 2012 it seemed like Avila was missing a lot of fastballs he was hitting the year prior and not hitting the ball the other way with power. HIs .352 OBP was a good sign that he was seeing the ball well and his 61 walks support that. But he needs to get around on those fastballs inside and start driving the ball the other way more in 2013.
Jhonny Peralta: Peralta is in the same boat as Avila. In 2011 Peralta had an All Star year while nearly hitting .300 while driving out 21 home runs and driving in 86 runs. 2012 Peralta posted a slash line of .239/.305/.384 and only hit 13 home runs and drove in 63 RBIs. In 2013 Peralta just needs to forget all about 2012 and just worry about trying to get him numbers back to at least his career averages (.264./.327/.422 18 HRs 82 RBIs).
I hate Peralta’s swing. The way he comes flying open and it looks like he his trying to drive the ball with just his upper body alone. Peralta needs to figure out how to make consistent contact and learn how to turn double plays. There was many of times when Peralta and Omar Infante both botched many of tailor made double play balls which kept innings alive for opposing teams.
Austin Jackson: Everything Jackson did last year was outstanding. His OBP (.377) was ranked among the best of lead-off men, he hit .300, hit 16 home runs and drove in 66 RBIs. The only thing Jackson needs to do is remember how great he was in 2012 and not fall into a rut. In Jackson’s rookie year he had a good year with the bat then in his second year slumped. In 2013 he needs to do more of the same and remain consistent.
Anibal Sanchez: Sometimes after players sign big contracts they feel a huge pressure to try and live up to the money spent on their services. Sanchez needs to be the Sanchez that Tigers fans saw in his last seven starts of the regular season and during the postseason. If Sanchez fails to replicate the numbers he posted in his first 15 starts as a Tiger (4-6, 3.74 ERA) there is going to be a lot of second guessing on the signing all year.
Joaquin Benoit: In the last three months of 2012 Benoit must of forgot that the idea was to keep teams from hitting home runs. Every time Benoit came trotting out of the Tigers’ bullpen you were bound to see a home run or two. This was a bit perplexing considering that Benoit was one of the best set-up men in 2011 and in June and July of 2012 he pitched to a combined ERA of 1.72 between the two months.
In 2013 there is one thing Benoit needs to do: Keep the ball in the yard! I couldn’t put it any simpler.
If you’re feeling as anxious as I am about baseball season coming back, believe me, you’re not the only one. Remember! pitchers and catchers report in 41 days and Opening Day is nearly 90 days away!
Have a safe and happy New Years!