Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the world. I had to put it in print.
Let me start off this piece by saying my opinion is admittedly biased. I live in Michigan. I am a huge Tigers and Cabrera fan. I watch every game (unless it’s a day game and I’m on the golf course). Because I watch every game, I think I have some perspective of just how good he is.
But forget about this one guy in Grand Rapids (me). To get the true measure of the greatness of “Miggy”, simply talk to some of his peers.
I’m pretty sure Miguel Cabrera is a robot from the planet Neptune. #goodbye! Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick tweeted.
This guy is the real deal! Best hitter in the game! #Beast #Homersforfun #MLB @Miguelcabrera- Bryce Harper of the Nationals.
That Miguel Cabrera guy… is pretty good- Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen tweeted.
Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said of Cabrera “I’ve been playing a long time — I’ve got to say, he’s the best hitter I’ve ever seen. It’s fun watching him hit.”
When Cabrera turned 31 on April 18, Fox Sports Detroit put up some almost spooky statistics comparing Miggy to Hank Aaron at that age.
On Aaron’s 31st birthday he had hit 366 home runs. On Cabrera’s 31st birthday he had hit 366 home runs. Aaron had a career batting average of.320. Cabrera had a career average of.320. Aaron had 792 extra base hits. Cabrera had 792 extra base hits. Cabrera had 1,266 RBIs to Aaron’s 1,216. Aaron had a slugging percentage of.567, Cabrera’s was.566.
Cabrera won back-to-back MVP awards in 2012 and 2013. He has finished a near unheard of top 5 in the MVP voting the last five years. He has won three consecutive batting titles. In 2012 he won the first triple crown since Boston’s Carl Yaztrzemski in 1967.
I have been following baseball for about 40 years and will echo Torii Hunter’s statement: Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter I’ve ever seen.
The three batting titles are impressive. Cabrera hits to all fields, with power. No one has figured out a way to pitch him. I call him Tony Gwynn with more power, (yes I know Gwynn won eight), and let’s be clear: Miggy is not getting any infield hits.
Keep in mind we’re talking best hitter here, not best player. I can say without reservation that McCutchen and Angels center fielder Mike Trout are better overall players, but Cabrera is the best hitter.
When Cabrera got his 2,000th career hit in early April, The Detroit Free Press reported Cabrera became just the ninth player to get to that number before his 31st birthday. Who are the others? Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Joe Medwick, Jimmie Foxx, Robin Yount and Alex Rodriguez.
I will go a step further: When Cabrera finally shuts it down, (if he stays healthy), we may be talking about the best right-handed hitter of all time.
[Image via washingtonpost.com]