When it comes to the game’s elite players, few teams are as stacked as the Tigers.
Even ESPN agrees.
Today, the sports behemoth unveiled its top 10 players, ending a two-week countdown from 500 to No. 1. And Tigers fans will be pleased to know your team has two of the top four: Slugger Miguel Cabrera at No. 3 and ace Justin Verlander at No. 4.
New first baseman Prince Fielder was ranked 17th.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols checked in at No. 1, and Phillies ace Roy Halladay at No. 2.
Only the Yankees (six), Red Sox (four) and Marlins (four) have more players in the top 50 than the Tigers.
To rank the players, 34 ESPN baseball experts started with a list of 600 players expected to play in 2012. Each player was ranked on a 0-to-10 scale, with the criteria being probable future performance, not past play.
Tigers DH Victor Martinez was not included in the voting, because he will miss all of this season.
Here is how other Tigers fared: Alex Avila 73rd, Jose Valverde 102nd, Doug Fister 118th, Max Scherzer 140th, Jhonny Peralta 186th, Joaquin Benoit 189th, Austin Jackson 194th, Rick Porcello 233rd, Delmon Young 245th, Brennan Boesch 251st, Octavio Dotel 303rd, Ryan Raburn 360th, Phil Coke 426th and Jacob Turner 476th.
You’ll notice Brandon Inge is nowhere to be found. He didn’t crack the top 500 — but he can take comfort in knowing he’ll play for the Tigers, as the starting second baseman against lefties, once he comes off the DL.