30 Tigers in 30 Days – #23: Brandon Inge

2011: .197/.265/.283, 3 HR, 23 RBI
Career: .235/.305/.388, 139 HR, 587 RBI

2012 Projections

Bill James: .226/.307/.373, 10 HR, 41 RBI
ZiPS: .222/.296/.357, 12 HR, 50 RBI
RotoChamp: .220/.297/.341, 9 HR, 45 RBI

Expected Role: Second base?

Ah, this one’s always fun to write.

First, I’m not necessarily doubting Brandon Inge’s ability to play second base. He might be able to play the position decently after six weeks of work during spring. Defense, however, has never been the primary reason people worry about Brandon Inge.

Inge, of course, hit below .200 last year, and the projections are not forecasting much of a recovery. The question becomes how much the Tigers value defense. If Inge is hitting .220 and not really going for double digit home runs, there’s no reason to play him ahead of Ramon Santiago when Santiago will be playing comparable defense and posting better OBP numbers, has more speed, and is a better bunter out of the 9 hole.

If Inge wants to play second base, it’s not just defense he has to worry about. Brandon Inge has to hit again. If he posts another .220/.290/.350ish season, there is no reason to keep playing him ahead of anyone. That’s basically all it boils down to.

Next: Jacob Turner

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