MIGUEL CABRERA CONTINUES TO DOMINATE BASEBALL
Added by Matthew Hochberg on May 21, 2013.
Mark Blinch / Reuters file
Less than a year ago, Miguel Cabrera became the first player in the past 45 years to win the prestigious Triple Crown (leading the league in home runs, RBI, and batting average). The Detroit Tigers third baseman is making a bid to accomplish this feat again, in consecutive seasons nonetheless, something that has never been done in the history of Major League Baseball.
While it is still early, Cabrera currently leads the league with a batting average of .387 and a total of 47 RBI. With 11 home runs, he is only two off the league lead, which is shared by Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who both have 13.
Cabrera continued his dominance Sunday night against the Texas Rangers, smashing three home runs while driving in four runs and scoring another four. As of Tuesday morning, he is currently on pace to hit 42 HRs and tally 181 RBI. While it may not be realistic to keep up those numbers the rest of the season, Cabrera may possibly have better numbers than some of the all-time greats when he eventually decides to hang up the cleats. Through the first 1,533 games of both Cabrera’s and hall of famer Hank Aaron’s careers, Cabrera has a .320 batting average compared to Aaron’s .318, as well as 1,165 RBI compared to Aaron’s 1,137 RBI. I am not saying he will necessarily be considered a better player than Aaron specifically when it is all said and done, but Cabrera, the best pure hitter in the league today and one of the top hitters in the past decade or so, can surely one day be considered one of the best batters the game has ever witnessed.
The 30 year-old slugger may also pose the biggest threat to Pete Rose’s all-time career hits record of 4,256. Currently, Yankees superstar Derek Jeter leads all active players with 3,304 hits, but Jeter, who is on the disabled list right now with a broken ankle, turns 39 on June 26th and his durability and age may very well prevent him from reaching Rose’s record. At his present rate, it would take him about five more seasons, when he is 44 years old to become baseball’s hit king, something that is highly unlikely. Miguel Cabrera, however, who is at 1,869 hits is on pace to reach Rose’s record at the age of 42. Rose picked up his final hit at the age of 45, and while each athlete and each athlete’s body is different, I would say Cabrera does have a chance to accomplish this, at least a higher chance than the Yankees shortstop has.
The Miguel Cabrera discussion is a fun one. He is a ridiculously gifted hitter who is in the prime of his career and can continue to move up in the record books and break some of them in the process. To me, it is only a matter of time before this future hall of famer is in the discussion with some of the all-time greats.