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View Full Version : Miguel Cabrera: Could He Do It Again?


RKMeibalane
05-19-2013, 09:29 PM
As of this evening, Miguel Cabrera leads the American League in batting average and runs batted in. He's near the league lead with nine home runs (including this evening's home run), and seems poised to make another run at the Triple Crown. Baseball has never had a back-to-back winner of the Triple Crown. If Cabrera pulls it off, where does that place him compared to other dominant hitters in the game's history?

On a semi-related note, is Cabrera a better hitter than either Frank Thomas or Albert Pujols was when each was at his best?

RKMeibalane
05-19-2013, 10:14 PM
Cabrera has hit his second home run of the night and now has ten. He's two back of the league leaders in that department. To bring this arc full-circle, my girlfriend is texting me, saying that I wish the White Sox had a hitter as good as Miguel. I can only reply to her with, "Well, they used to have one."

:hurt

"I am the man."

DumpJerry
05-19-2013, 10:26 PM
It is May 19th. Way, way, way too early to start this talk. Most of the big time sluggers have hot streaks and cold streaks during the season. He'll cool off for a bit and someone else will be hot.

Frater Perdurabo
05-19-2013, 10:28 PM
Cabrera has hit his second home run of the night and now has ten. He's two back of the league leaders in that department. To bring this arc full-circle, my girlfriend is texting me, saying that I wish the White Sox had a hitter as good as Miguel. I can only reply to her with, "Well, they used to have one."

:hurt

"I am the man."

No disrespect to Cabrera, but he has Prince Fielder protecting him. For much of Frank's peak, he lacked a true threat behind him to keep from being walked. Look at his 1994 season with Julio Franco protecting him: a 212 OPS+.

RKMeibalane
05-19-2013, 10:37 PM
No disrespect to Cabrera, but he has Prince Fielder protecting him. For much of Frank's peak, he lacked a true threat behind him to keep from being walked. Look at his 1994 season with Julio Franco protecting him: a 212 OPS+.

You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign. Finding someone to hit behind Frank seemed to be a yearly chore for the White Sox. Sammy Sosa hadn't discovered Flintstone vitamins, yet. Ventura didn't like it (so he hit fifth), and George Bell was too old. John Kruk waited until his batting average was higher than Mickey Mantle before he decided to quit, and Chris Sabo was just plain awful. Danny Tartabull hit home runs, but provided little else. Lyle Mouton was memorable only because his name was Lyle Mouton (Hawk insisted on trying five or six different pronunciations of his last name).

The Sox didn't finally find a good compliment for Thomas until Albert Belle came along, but that was right before Frank started to slip (coinciding with the arrival of Jerry "The Tinkerer" Manuel in 1998), and even that lasted only two seasons before Belle ended up in Baltimore. Magglio Ordonez was probably the best cleanup hitter Frank played with, but Frank wasn't quite the same by the time Magglio was protecting him, as age and injury had begun to slow him down.

ChiSoxFann
05-19-2013, 11:11 PM
It's unlikely, but I wont doubt him. Watching this game tonight when Ron Washington walked him with runners on 1st and 2nd in the 6th inning really shows that he is the most feared hitter in the game.

RKMeibalane
05-19-2013, 11:16 PM
It's unlikely, but I wont doubt him. Watching this game tonight when Ron Washington walked him with runners on 1st and 2nd in the 6th inning really shows that he is the most feared hitter in the game.

I want to see someone walk him with the bases loaded. Then we'll know for certain. :cool:

Noneck
05-19-2013, 11:38 PM
Well unless he gets hurt he will play probably play more games than anyone except maybe fielder. That always helps for homers and rbis..

102605
05-19-2013, 11:44 PM
3rd HR of the game.

Lip Man 1
05-19-2013, 11:48 PM
And to think Kenny "almost" got him...but he wouldn't take Willis' remaining contract.

:(:

Lip

RKMeibalane
05-19-2013, 11:57 PM
3rd HR of the game.

Wow.

DSpivack
05-20-2013, 12:09 AM
Their career numbers through age 30, which is what Miguel Cabrera currently is, do look somewhat similar (although Thomas' numbers look that way because of his great ability to walk). At 32, Frank Thomas had has monster MVP season in 2000. We'll see if Cabrera can continue to put up these numbers as he 30s go on. If he can, his resume will certainly look better than the Big Hurt.

Also, Thomas played during one of the game's most offensive eras. Baseball now is much more lower-scoring.

RKMeibalane
05-20-2013, 12:12 AM
Their career numbers through age 30, which is what Miguel Cabrera currently is, do look somewhat similar (although Thomas' numbers look that way because of his great ability to walk). At 32, Frank Thomas had has monster MVP season in 2000. We'll see if Cabrera can continue to put up these numbers as he 30s go on. If he can, his resume will certainly look better than the Big Hurt.

Also, Thomas played during one of the game's most offensive eras. Baseball now is much more lower-scoring.

It's too bad we'll never know what he may have accomplished had others not cheated in order to bring said era about.

DSpivack
05-20-2013, 12:17 AM
It's too bad we'll never know what he may have accomplished had others not cheated in order to bring said era about.

Thomas looks better against many of his competitors because he was clean and many others were not.

Cabrera looks better as his numbers are all the more amazing when comparing him to his peers.

As you said, we'll never know.

It's interesting to me that while for years Cabrera looked nearly as good as Pujols, most people would have probably expected Pujols to finish with the more amazing career. Now, I'm not so sure. The only glaring difference is their team's playoff performances.

RKMeibalane
05-20-2013, 12:34 AM
Thomas looks better against many of his competitors because he was clean and many others were not.

Cabrera looks better as his numbers are all the more amazing when comparing him to his peers.

As you said, we'll never know.

It's interesting to me that while for years Cabrera looked nearly as good as Pujols, most people would have probably expected Pujols to finish with the more amazing career. Now, I'm not so sure. The only glaring difference is their team's playoff performances.

I agree completely, as I thought Cabrera's weight problems would eventually hurt his productivity, but it doesn't seem to matter what he looks like. He just keeps hitting... and hitting... and hitting.

amsteel
05-20-2013, 07:33 AM
Make the final out of the World Series on a backwards K?

I certainly hope so.

Frater Perdurabo
05-20-2013, 07:59 AM
You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign. Finding someone to hit behind Frank seemed to be a yearly chore for the White Sox. Sammy Sosa hadn't discovered Flintstone vitamins, yet. Ventura didn't like it (so he hit fifth), and George Bell was too old. John Kruk waited until his batting average was higher than Mickey Mantle before he decided to quit, and Chris Sabo was just plain awful. Danny Tartabull hit home runs, but provided little else. Lyle Mouton was memorable only because his name was Lyle Mouton (Hawk insisted on trying five or six different pronunciations of his last name).

The Sox didn't finally find a good compliment for Thomas until Albert Belle came along, but that was right before Frank started to slip (coinciding with the arrival of Jerry "The Tinkerer" Manuel in 1998), and even that lasted only two seasons before Belle ended up in Baltimore. Magglio Ordonez was probably the best cleanup hitter Frank played with, but Frank wasn't quite the same by the time Magglio was protecting him, as age and injury had begun to slow him down.

I guess I should have been more clear, because I believed at the time that the Sox should have re-signed Franco for 1995, specifically because he was such a great complement to Frank. I think we pretty much agree on everything else.

Frank had a great 1997 (batting title, second-best OPS+) with Belle protecting him.

Then he had a strange two-year "slump" in 98 and 99, which would have been career years for most other players. He deserved the MVP in 2000, missed most of 2001, had an .834 OPS in 2002, and, although plagued by injuries, never had a sub-.900 OPS season in his remaining seasons with the Sox.

Put Franco behind him for 95 and 96, and don't tinker with him in 98 and 99, and I think his already first-ballot HOF career would be even more ridiculous.

Frater Perdurabo
05-20-2013, 08:22 AM
Frank may have been among the "least lucky" great players in recent years.

Look at what factors well outside by others may have cost him:

1. He played his peak years in one of the more pitching-friendly parks in the majors:

2. He was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season HR record in 1994;

3. The Sox parted ways with Franco over a contract dispute, depriving Frank of the best protection he had ever had;

4. He was denied a third MVP by an admitted steroid user in 2000.

5. Injuries robbed him of the equivalent of more than two full seasons.

If not for these factors, he'd have another MVP, a clean single-season HR title (at least for a few years), another likely postseason appearance, and perhaps 600 or more career homers.

tstrike2000
05-20-2013, 09:04 AM
It's unlikely, but it's obviously not out of the question. He's got almost 50 RBI's and we still have two weeks left in May.

happydude
05-20-2013, 03:18 PM
No disrespect to Cabrera, but he has Prince Fielder protecting him. For much of Frank's peak, he lacked a true threat behind him to keep from being walked. Look at his 1994 season with Julio Franco protecting him: a 212 OPS+.

Perfectly illustrated by the at bat last night where the Rangers put Miggy on to load the bases only to see Fielder walk up and unload them with a low laser to the gap in right center...

hawkjt
05-20-2013, 04:08 PM
Miggy is like the Lebron of MLB right now. Game looks easy to him.
Tiger's investment in Miggy and Fielder looks smart right now.

TheVulture
05-20-2013, 04:28 PM
You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign

I think that was the point, the one year Thomas had legitimate protection he had his best season. Franco was a beast in 1994.

shes
05-20-2013, 05:26 PM
I put Miggy down for .360-45-150 before the season started. He was going to have one of these Bonds XBOX seasons before the end of his prime. Glad he's doing it in a year we're out of contention.

RKMeibalane
05-20-2013, 06:12 PM
I think that was the point, the one year Thomas had legitimate protection he had his best season. Franco was a beast in 1994.

Incidently, I realized that I forgot about Ellis Burks, who also did a nice job hitting behind Frank in '93, Thomas' other MVP season.

TDog
05-20-2013, 06:51 PM
Frank may have been among the "least lucky" great players in recent years.

Look at what factors well outside by others may have cost him:

1. He played his peak years in one of the more pitching-friendly parks in the majors:

2. He was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season HR record in 1994;

...

Griffey had two more home runs than Thomas when the 1994 season shut down, and Matt Williams had five more home runs despite playing home games in Candlestick. (Which reminds me of when people used to complain about Candlestick hurting Giants offense, to which old-timers would reply, "didn't hurt Mays or McCovey") But, yeah, who knows what numbers Thomas would have put up in 1994, along with Williams and Griffey and Albert Belle? That may have turned out to be the career year for Kenny Lofton as well. And Kirby Puckett near the end of his career.

RKMeibalane
05-20-2013, 06:56 PM
Griffey had two more home runs than Thomas when the 1994 season shut down, and Matt Williams had five more home runs despite playing home games in Candlestick. (Which reminds me of when people used to complain about Candlestick hurting Giants offense, to which old-timers would reply, "didn't hurt Mays or McCovey") But, yeah, who knows what numbers Thomas would have put up in 1994, along with Williams and Griffey and Albert Belle? That may have turned out to be the career year for Kenny Lofton as well. And Kirby Puckett near the end of his career.

Don't forget that Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 at the time of the strike. That's another thing I wish we could have seen play out.

shes
05-21-2013, 12:26 PM
Don't forget that Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 at the time of the strike. That's another thing I wish we could have seen play out.

Yeah that's my biggest regret as a baseball fan -- being robbed of a real chase at .400. Still kind of shocked that Ichiro never had a .380-90 year where he made a run at it, but I guess .372 and 262 hits wasn't too shabby back in '04.

RKMeibalane
05-21-2013, 10:11 PM
Cabrera has homered again, and is now one behind Robinson Cano and Chris Davis for the league lead.