Back in late April, I posted the original blog entry for “The Greatness of Miguel Cabrera” and have decided to update it as Miggy marches his way to being a Hall of Famer and possibly one of the best hitters of all-time.
At the time, the point of the entry was that we are in the presence of greatness, a generational type hitter here in Detroit. I want people to realize that now vs. when Miggy retires or on at the end of his career.
We left the entry in April with Cabrera ranking 47th on ESPN’s All-Time players list, his awards, his stats, and where he sat at the time on Hall of Fame metrics, such as those on Baseball-Reference. In addition we looked at what milestones were next for Miggy as his season progressed.
Little did we know at the time that Cabrera would hit the disable list and lose significant time, but that’s not to say his season was lost…
Although Cabrera was only able to compete in 119 games (the first time he has played less that 148 since his rookie season), Miggy was still instrumental in the Tigers season and finished 11th in MVP voting. Amazingly, Cabrera has placed in MVP voting every single year of his career.
Tack on another All-Star game for his 10th and Silver Slugger, his 6th and you start to get the picture. Oh, did I forget to mention he won the American League batting title as well? That’s three in the last four years.
For the season, Miggy hit .338 in 119 games, with 145 hits, 28 doubles, 18 homers, 76 RBI, a .974 OPS, and 5.2 WAR. This marks the first time that Cabrera finished with under 100 RBI since his rookie season. Obviously chalk it up to the injury.
Career-wise, Cabrera has now played in 1,938 games where he has collected 2,331 hits, 492 doubles, 408 home runs, 1,445 RBI, 936 BB, a .321 batting average, and a .961 OPS to go with a WAR of 64.7.
With Miggy’s age 32 season in the books, he now compares in total stats to Larry Walker, Vladimir Guerrero, and Duke Snider (Hall of Fame), and that’t as their stats stand today. When looking at who Cabrera compares most to at the age of 32, the list turns to amazing with Frank Robinson (HoF), Hank Aaron (HoF), Albert Pujols (Active), Mel Ott (HoF), and Ken Griffey Jr. (soon to be HoF).
When looking at Baseball-References Hall of Fame indicators (definitions at the bottom), all signs point to Cabrera being a Hall of Famer if he retired today…
Black Ink: 43 with the average HoF’er at 27
Gray Ink: 223 with the average HoF’er at 144
Hall of Fame Monitor: 241 with the average at 100
Hall of Fame Standards: 59 with the average at 50
JAWS: 12th best first baseman of all-time currently
***Baseball-Reference Hall of Fame Stats simple definitions are: Black-Ink Test (a point system for leading in “important” stat categories), Grey Ink Test (which is the same as Black-Ink, but points for top 10 finishes), Hall of Fame Career Standards (again, points for stats), and Hall of Fame Monitor (similar to Career standards). You can learn more here***
Here’s more to look forward to next season…
WAR: With his increase to 64.7 this season, Cabrera is now 136th all-time with his sites on passing the likes of Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Joe Cronin, Ernie Banks, Jim Palmer, Tony Gwynn and so many more with just another “5” to add to his total.
Hits: Cabrera jumped up to 141st on the list and with even 150 hits could move as high as 101st, passing Hall of Famers Barry Larkin, Ryne Sandberg, Mickey Mantle, Jim Rice, and Frank Thomas
Home Runs: With just 18 homers, Cabrera passed up Duke Snider and Al Kaline, where he sits 52nd. Another 27 could move Miggy to 44th, where he would pass Darrell Evans, Mike Piazza, and Cal Ripken Jr.
Runs Batted In: Miggy moved up to 62nd on the all-time list and if he can get back to his typical 100 RBI output, he could get to 45th on the list and pass Joe DiMaggio, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, and Sam Crawford
Doubles: This one is interesting as the home run power may fall off, the doubles power will hang around for a while. With that, Cabrera is 69th currently and if he can get to 40 doubles, he would sky rocket to 40th and be just behind Lou Gehrig. He would also pass HoF’ers Frank Thomas, Jim Rice, Roberto Alomar, Babe Ruth, Rickey Henderson, Joe Cronin, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Ted Williams, and Frank Robinson to name a few.
Anyway, this is just another testimony to baseball fans on how great Miguel Cabrera truly is.