The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived! We have reached No. 1 on our “Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players of 2014″ series, and Miguel Cabrera has been voted as MLB’s best player. Deciding between Cabrera and Mike Trout for best player was incredibly difficult, but I feel that we made the correct choice.
Let’s just get the glaring negative out of the way early. In a perfect world, Cabrera would be playing first base or designated hitter, but he has done his best to play third base for the Detroit Tigers. His defense at third base is, to put it nicely, not great. He doesn’t have the range that one would like a third baseman to have, but the Tigers have other offensive-first, defensively challenged hitters that need to take up the DH spot; so Cabrera has no choice, he has to play defense somewhere.
I’m so glad we got the negative out of the way, now we can talk happy things. Cabrera is a machine. He is possibly the best hitter of his generation. He is a career .321/.399/.568 hitter with 365 home runs. Clearly his offensive production is more than enough to make up for what he lacks defensively.
In 2013, Cabrera’s best overall season, he hit for a .348/.442/.636 triple-slash line with 44 home runs and 137 RBI. He walked nearly as much as he struck out last season, walking in 13.8 percent and striking out in just 14.4 percent of his plate appearances. He put up a ridiculous, almost unrealistic 192 wRC+ in 2013 as well. The crazy thing with “Miggy” is that he is literally unstoppable. His splits versus left/right-handed pitching are both great. Against lefties, he hits for an unfair .368/.488/.722 line; against right-handed hurlers, he hits for a .341/.426/.609 line.
If you think Trout should have been No. 1 on our list, I certainly wouldn’t blame you. Trout is more of a complete player than Cabrera, but Cabrera is a monster when he has a bat in his hands. We have reached the final installment of our Top 50 series, it was a lot of fun to participate in and I hope you all had as much fun reading our work as we did writing it. Thanks to everyone who read the series and thanks to all the great writers that were involved!