2011 TigsTown Player Capsule: Alex Avila

Avila had a breakout 2011 campaign

Ready to take a look back at the performers of 2011 and what's in store for them in 2012? Head inside to read the 2011 player capsules! First up is the Tigers' breakout star catcher, Alex Avila, who slugged his way to starting the All-Star game.

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

OPS

Games Caught

XBH

BAbip

Playoff OPS

.895

133

56

.366

.263


What It All Means

Coming into the season, it was discussed frequently how the Tigers could really use another complete hitter; someone that would post a .300/.400/.500 line that could in theory fit perfectly into the three spot in front of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Almost no one guessed that Avila could be that guy, but that's exactly what he turned out to be in 2011, with an OPS of almost .900 en route to an All-Star season and being named the Silver Slugger among catchers. However, the lack of an available backup clearly took its toll – Avila caught over 130 games over the course of the season, and by the time the playoffs came around, he had little left in the tank, and managed just three hits. But despite the late tailspin, you would be hard pressed to find anyone disappointed with Avila's production in 2011.

What Does the Future Hold

When you have an All-Star starter who is just 24-years old, you do everything you can to take care of him, and that's exactly what the Tigers plan on doing. Avila will still be the team's everyday catcher, however in 2012 everyday won't actually mean every day. On the laundry list for Dave Dombrowski this winter will be to find a suitable backup catcher that can catch 40+ games over the course of the season and hopefully help keep Avila healthy and able to produce all season long, and into October.

Contract Status

With just over two years of service time, Avila is not yet arbitration eligible. There has also been no indication yet that the Tigers plan to begin discussions about a contract extension. The Tigers will again have one of the best catchers in the game, and will have him at a bargain rate in 2012.

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