15 June 2014

2013 SEGA Card-Gen Extravaganza 5: Detroit Tigers

It's about time for another 2013 SEGA Card-Gen team. This time I will be featuring the Detroit Tigers team set. The Tigers get 13 cards in the set, which equals the average per team. Only one player in the group has a card showing the uniform of another team. The rest of the players are shown wearing Detroit uniforms.

Starting things off is Alex Avila, who I guess is a decent catcher. I don't really know. For some reason the Tigers kind of fly under my radar. I recognize the big names, but outside of that I don't follow Detroit much. Now I am feeling a little bad for claiming so many cards from the Too Many Verlanders giveaway contest. I don't even know anything about his favorite team. Maybe I'll catch a couple of Tigers games on my new MLB.TV subscription this season. Earlier today I watched the Astros beat the Rays, and now I am watching the A's with a lead on the Yankees. It's good stuff.

This set has a lot of zoomed-in shots, but the photography is still pretty varied and interesting. Here we have Prince Fielder, batting helmet in hand. He's currently out for the season with an injury, after being traded to the Rangers for Ian Kinsler. He struggled before getting the season-ending injury on his neck, while Kinsler is currently the 65th-best player in fantasy baseball.

Omar Infante gets the 2nd base slot here for the Tigers. He's with the Royals this year. He played his first few seasons with the Tigers, spent some time with Atlanta and Florida, then a couple more years with the Tigers before moving on to the Royals. Like the back of his card says, he has been 'a valuable cog,' never the most valuable guy on the team but capably filling a roster spot. In fantasy baseball he's been a decent guy to plug in whenever your team's starter is injured or has a day off.

Here is Detroit's second 8-star player, Miguel Cabrera. He's a two-time MVP and almost certain first-ballot Hall of Famer. He hits for power and average, winning the batting crown three years running and perennially among the league leaders in home runs. I don't think I've ever owned him in a fantasy baseball league, because I don't ever get the first pick in the draft.

The shortstop slot here is filled by Jhonny 'Don't Call Me Johnny' Peralta. He's a Cardinal this year. He's been a good player to draft if you needed a shortstop but were shorter on power than on speed. His batting average from year to year seems to fluctuate pretty wildly.

Who? Berry played a year in Detroit, then moved on to Boston where he played in a few games and apparently got a World Series ring. I think he's in the Baltimore minor league system right now. He actually just made the news in the sports world. After being ejected from a AAA game for arguing with the umpire, Berry went ahead and ran the bases, slid into home plate, and then headed for the locker room. I guess whatever gets your name out there, right?

Austin Jackson has been pretty darn good the last couple of years. He seems to be struggling a little bit more than usual this year. Outside of that I don't know much about him. I guess with the lineup he's had behind him as the leadoff guy, it would be hard not to score a bunch of runs as long as you could get on base.

Here's the lone appearance by a guy in non-Tigers gear. Torii Hunter spent a lot of time with the Twins and Angels before joining the Tigers in 2013. He's had a long and productive career, scattering 5 All-Star appearances and a buttload of Gold Glove awards across the last dozen seasons. In an interesting side note, he was the 49th-ranked player in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues in both 2012 and 2013. That's some consistency. Also the picture on this card is pretty good.

Here's another 8-star player for this team, although I think Verlander is the last one. The numbers on the back of his card are ridiculous. Look at all those 20s! Unfortunately, Verlander has been tailing off the last couple of seasons. From 2009-2012 he was dominant. Last year he was barely a top-50 starting pitcher, and this season he has barely been replacement-level. But he is dating Kate Upton and making meelions of dollars, so there is some consolation there. Hopefully he can get back into good form and finish out what has been a great career.

Here is the guy who has taken over that top spot in the rotation and won last year's Cy Young award, strikeout master Max Scherzer. This guy has been ridiculous. Before the big season last year I had been able to snag him on a few fantasy teams and benefit from his strikeout rate, but now everyone knows about him and it is hard to draft him without overpaying.

The lights seem to have come on for Fister in 2011 when he posted solid numbers with Seattle and Detroit, and he kept a pretty good run going through last year. He's now in Washington putting up another good season. In spite of missing the first month of 2014, he is still a top-40 starter in fantasy baseball. I remember reading some press early on about how the Tigers really shouldn't have let him go.

Benoit did some closing for the Tigers last year, and is currently having a pretty good year statistically for the Padres. His strikeout rate makes him pretty valuable in fantasy baseball even when he's not closing. I like this photo, with Benoit's cap rocked back on his head and him giving the ball a good hand-wringing with his glove tucked under his elbow.

But Benoit's photo can't match up with ol' crazy face Valverde here, filling the closer spot on the Tigers' SEGA Card-Gen team. Valverde had a long run as a closer in Arizona, Houston, and Detroit from 2007-2012. Last year he lost the closer role and his job pretty quickly. This year the Mets gave him a shot and he blew it. The Mets released him immediately after a particularly bad game near the end of May.

And that does it for the Tigers in 2013 SEGA Card-Gen. At the rate I am going, it may take me several years to get through the whole series of posts. I am only through 16.67% of the teams so far. These are time-consuming to scan and write, so it has been more difficult than I thought it would be to get the whole set up.

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