The Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic is loaded with Major League Baseball talent. However, one bat stands above the rest: Detroit Tigers first baseman, Miguel Cabrera. The American League MVP and Triple Crown winner is not only the best hitter on the Venezuelan team, but is the best overall player on the team.
Cabrera will be joined by fellow major league bats Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus, Pablo Sandoval and others. In addition, the 29-year old will be joined by Tigers teammate and the Venezuelan team’s best starting pitcher, Anibal Sanchez.
Last season for the Tigers, during his MVP year, the Maracay, Venezuela native lead the major leagues with a .330 average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs. Cabrera also had a .393 OBP and scored 109 runs in 161 games, during the Tigers’ American League Championship year. Although the Tigers were swept in the World Series by the San Francisco Giants, Cabrera was a huge part to their run.
There’s no question that the Venezuelan team will greatly benefit from the bat of Cabrera. With a batting order that surrounds the first baseman with Sandoval and Gonzalez, the Venezuelan team will be difficult to pitch against and Cabrera will see a lot of great pitches.
Cabrera has participated in the WBC since its inception, and this will mark the third WBC for the first baseman. Cabrera and Venezuela finished in seventh in 2006, and third in 2009.
Venezuela take on the Dominican Republic Thursday at 6:30 p.m. eastern, in their first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, ”Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google. To read more articles from Justin Soderberg, click here.