It does not need to be said how good the Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera is. From the time he first laced up his shoes and put on a white and black striped Florida Marlins jersey, Cabrera has been one of the leagues best hitters.
There is something special about the way Cabrera plays the game of baseball. He’s not the fleetest of foot, but still tries and hustle down the line. He is a team player that will do anything he can to help his team win. He has great plate vision, rarely do you see him off balance on a swing. He can hit the ball to right field like a left handed power hitter, and hit to all fields. No matter if it’s an ace on the mound, or a shutdown closer, Cabrera will hit you.
Now at 29-years-old, Cabrera is putting up career numbers. Threatening to become the first player to win a triple crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. He currently holds the league lead in average, RBIs, and now sits one home run away from tying Josh Hamilton for the lead in the home runs.
Since coming to the American League in 2008, Cabrera won a sliver slugger, lead the AL in home runs, RBIs, and won a batting title in the last five years.
He has also pushed himself into the category of not only as the leagues best hitter, but perhaps one of the greatest Tigers hitters of all time. Cabrera this year became the only Tiger in history to ever have five straight seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. And became the first Tigers hitter to have more than 40 home runs in a season since Cecil Fielder hit 50 in 1991. But Fielder was hitting home runs at Tiger Stadium. Not hitting in a canyon of a ballpark like Comerica Park, which makes the feat even more impressive.
Cabrera is the definition of consistency and is a managers dream. It’s nice to know when you go into Spring Training that you always have a safety net like Cabrera who is going to hit over .300 while hitting 30 home runs and driving in 100. In his first 10 years, Cabrera has only hit less than 30 home runs twice. Failed to drive in under a 100 RBIs once, and only hit below .300 twice. Only one player has put up numbers as consistent as Cabrera, and he is a first ballot hall of famer: Albert Pujols.
When you have your name mentioned with Pujols over the last 10 years, you know you are doing things right as a hitter. Tigers fans have been spoiled to see a player like Cabrera over the last five years. It’s not often a fan base gets to watch a player that will go down as one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball on a daily basis.
It’s not often you hear a manager of an opposing team say they fear a hitter. Manny Acta, Joe Maddon, and Ron Washington have all admitted they get scared when they see Cabrera come up to the plate in a big situation. Maddon has taken the bat out of Cabrera’s hands in big time situations as often as possible. Washington has said if someone is going to beat him, it’s not going to be Cabrera. Acta recently has been on the losing end of pitching to Cabrera in a big situation. He elected to pitch to him, and Cabrera hit a go ahead three-run homer. There is not a bigger sign of respect when the manager puts up four fingers from the dugout when the game matters most.
One day Cabrera will have a plaque in Cooperstown. Hopefully he will be supporting a Tigers hat in that plaque. But right now, he is in his prime, and is destroying anything that touches the plate, and showing why he is the best hitter in baseball.
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