Miguel Cabrera: Just How Good of a Player is He?

Miguel Cabrera is hitting .448 and slugging .931 during the month of August.

 

Miguel Cabrera is playing in his 11th major league season and is only 30 years old. He has 1,952 hits and should have his 2,000th hit while he is still 30. He has a lot of great stats,, but one that stands out for me is that he has never missed more than 12 games in a major league season, which almost certainly means he has never been on the disabled list.

Cabrera only played in 87 games in his debut season, yet hit 12 home runs and drove in 62 runs, then he hit four home runs and drove in 12 in the 2003 postseason, which showed that he was not intimidated, by being on the big stage.

He has hit at least 26 home runs in each of his last 10 full seasons and has driven in 103 or more runs for the last 10 seasons, which includes  the 2013 season, which has 46 games remaining. He should have his second 200 hit season in a row and pick up his 2,000 hit, possibly even in the same game.

Cabrera is not known for his speed, since he has 36 stolen bases in his career, which is same number of stolen bases, as Cal Ripken Jr. retired with. His current .365 batting average, .459 on base percentage, .686 slugging percentage and 1.145 OPS would be career highs if he can maintain those numbers.  All four of those percentages lead the majors currently. His AB per HR rate was 19.1 in 2011, 14.1 in 2012 and a career best 11.4 in 2013.

Even though Cabrera is known for his power today he never hit more than 10 home runs in a minor league season. However, he hit .365, with AA Carolina before being called up by the Marlins in 2003.

Joe Mauer is the only active player ahead of Cabrera in lifetime batting average, with Mauer batting .3224 and Cabrera at .3214. He is 21st in lifetime hits with 1,952, but the 20 players ahead of him are 34 and older, so he will pass most of them up. Robinson Cano is next among 30-year-old players and has 1,583 hits.

Cabrera’s .365 batting average is 35 points ahead of Mike Trout in the AL batting race. He also leads in runs batted in with 109, but trails Chris Davis in home runs 42-36. It still wouldn’t surprise me to see Cabrera win another Triple Crown this year and possibly a major league Triple Crown.

Baseball-reference.com ranks Cabrera with seven Hall of Famers at his age, with only Ken Griffey, Jr., Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones not enshrined as yet in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

MLB.com lists Cabrera as 113th in strikeouts with 72 and he has only three more strikeouts than walks, with 69 walks in the 2013 season.

His salary in his rookie season of 2003 was only $165,000, then $320,000 in 2004, $370,000 in 2005 and $472,000 in 2006. He then became a million dollar player in 2007, when the Marlins paid him $7.4 million. He has earned $116 million in his career and is due to receive $22 million in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Cabrera was then traded to the Detroit Tigers on December 4, 2007. The Tigers also received Dontrelle Willis, who flamed out with Detroit after posting a 2-8 record in three seasons. The Tigers still got the best of the trade since they didn’t give up any player, who became a major star.

These are the players that the Tigers gave up in the trade:

DALLAS TRAHERN – POSTED A 50-60 RECORD IN 7 MINOR LEAGUE SEASONS AND NEVER PLAYED IN THE MAJORS.

BURKE BADENHOP – WAS 13-15 FOR THE MARLINS AND IS CURRENTLY IS 2-3 FOR BREWERS IN 2013.

FRANKIE DE LA CRUZ – ONLY PITCHED 9 INNINGS FOR THE MARLINS WITH AN 0-0 RECORD AND 18.00 ERA. HIS PITCHING LINE FOR MARLINS – 9 IP, 20 RUNS (18 EARNED) 15 HITS, 2 HR’S, 11 WALKS, 4 K’S, 2.889 WHIP. DE LA CRUZ ALSO PITCHED 3 INNINGS FOR PADRES AND 13 INNINGS FOR BREWERS AND WALKED 26 IN 32 MAJOR LEAGUE INNINGS. POSTED A 0-0 RECORD WITH A 8.16 ERA IN HIS CAREER AND NEVER PITCHED AGAIN IN MAJORS AFTER 2011.

CAMERON MAYBIN – HIT .257 IN 3 YEARS WITH MARLINS. HIT .249 IN 3 YEARS WITH PADRES AND IS HITTING .157 IN 2013 FOR PADRES. HE WAS THE 10TH PICK IN THE 1ST ROUND OF THE 2005 DRAFT AND WAS DRAFTED AHEAD OF ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, JAY BRUCE, MATT GARZA AND CLAY BUCHHOLZ. PADRES ARE PAYING HIM $3 MILLION FOR HIS .157 AVERAGE THIS YEAR AND OWE HIM $5 MILLION IN 2014, $7 MILLION IN 2015 AND $8 MILLION IN 2016 PLUS THE PADRES HAVE A $9 MILLION TEAM OPTION IN 2017 AND A $1 MILLION BUYOUT.

ANDREW MILLER – 10-20 WITH THE MARLINS WITH A 5.89 ERA. WAS TRADED TO RED SOX FOR DUSTIN RICHARDSON, WHO NEVER THREW A PITCH FOR THE MARLINS. MILLER IS 10-7 WITH RED SOX IN 3 YEARS AND IS 1-2 WITH A 2.64 ERA IN 2013.

MIKE RABELO – HIT .202 FOR MARLINS IN 32 GAMES AND NEVER PLAYED IN MAJORS AGAIN AFTER 2008.

The Tigers clearly got the best of the trade, even though only Cabrera remains and Dontrelle Willis was pitching for the independent league Long Island Ducks with a 5-4 record and 2.56 ERA with 52 K’s and 43 BB’s in 87 IP. He was picked up by the Angels and has no minor league record as of today.

Tigers really gave up nothing to acquire Cabrera and Willis, but they have reaped a huge reward in Cabrera, who is undoubtedly the best hitter in the majors today.

 

Around the Bases

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that they are calling up Andrew Lambo, who is leading the minors in home runs with 31. Lambo, who turned 25 yesterday was drafted by the Dodgers in the 4th round in 2007. He has hit a combined .284 for AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis with 97 RBI. Lambo only hit 5 home runs in 2012. He is in his 7th season of minor league baseball. He should be an upgrade for the Pirates, who have had poor production from the right field position….Mike Trout has called for a lifetime ban for any player using PED’s….Matt Harvey has lost three games this season but his run support has been bad for most of his starts. The Mets have lost games like these, when Harvey gave up one or two runs, May 12 loss of 3-2 to Pittsburgh, when Harvey allowed 2 runs in 7 innings. He had back to back 2-1 losses on June 8 and June 13 to Florida and St. Louis. He then lost to Washington 6-4 on June 28, when he gave up one run in 7 innings. He lost to Washington again on July 26, by a 2-1 score when he allowed no earned runs in 8 innings. He should have had 5 wins in those starts, which would give him 14 wins now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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