An AL scout spoke with Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan about three of the division’s biggest questions:
Q: Which contender has the best rotation?
Scout says: "The Royals go (Zack) Greinke, (Gil) Meche, (Luke) Hochevar — he could have a breakout year — but it’s the Tigers, definitely. With (Max) Scherzer sliding into that rotation with (Justin) Verlander and (Rick) Porcello, that’s only going to make them stronger. They’re going to have a really tough rotation. If their bullpen can step up and their offense can do what they need to do … "
Q: Where does Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera rank among the game’s best hitters? Has he hit his ceiling?
Scout says: "He’s arguably top five. The one thing Miggy takes a lot of pride in, that was a concern early, is his body. He’s done a great job taking care of his body and gets a bit upset about the criticism (of his weight). People forget, really, how young he still is (he turns 27 on April 18). This is a guy who is as prolific as they come, and he’s going to be an impact hitter for years. He hasn’t hit his ceiling."
Q: Who will be the division’s breakout player?
Scout says: "I mean this when I say it: (Royals third baseman) Alex Gordon has a chance to be that guy this year. He had a chance to be that guy last year, except for the injuries. For me, he’s a guy who’s got a chance to be truly impactful."
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