Thursday, September 03, 2009

Is Miguel Cabrera Overlooked?

The Detroit Tigers are trying their best to stay on top of what is one of baseball's weakest divisions. Despite their struggles, they have managed to hold off the White Sox, before that team took a nose dive, and now the Twins. The Tigers aren't perfect. They have their share of pitching woes behind Jackson and Verlander. Their offense is sporadic at times. But one constant has been Miguel Cabrera, who has been everything the team hoped for when they got him from the Marlins. But how many times have you read about Cabrera this season in the big media outlets?

The guy is a monster with the bat. He is tied for second in the American League in OPS+ (with Kevin Youkilis). He is fifth in the league in total bases. He sports a .336 batting average and .399 On Base Percentage. What more can the guy do? Perhaps if he didn't play in the cavernous confines of the Tigers' home stadium, he'd have more than 27 homers and his name would be on more people's tongues. But the guy has been fantastic and you hear so little about it.

Just like you don't hear much about what Cabrera has already accomplished in his young career. You have to remember that the guy is only 26 years old. He's already played seven seasons. He already has over 1100 hits (almost 1200). He already has over 200 homers. He's already driven in over 700 runs. He already has almost 250 career doubles. Say he plays to the age of 40, which is 14 more years. Triple those numbers and see what you come up with. The guy could be an all-timer and yet there isn't much fanfare over the guy. Even Justin Morneau gets more ink than this guy.

What Cabrera has accomplished in his 26 years is breathtaking. Perhaps a big run in the playoffs or something like that will get him where he belongs: In the nation's attention.


Carolyn said...

Amen. I live in South Florida and have followed Cabrera since he was 20. The guy is one of the top 5hitters in the game. If he played for Boston or NY, he would be treated like a god.

Steve G. said...

How is he with the media? He doesn't really have a schtick like David Ortiz, and if his English isn't great - and I have no idea if it is or isn't - then he could be slipping through the cracks because of it.

The only other thing I can think of would be the defense and physique angle. Although the guys at BP have made inroads with the statistical revolution, I still think a lot of beat writers rely on huge, hulking sluggers for the color of their stories. Also, Cabrera's defense generally isn't that great, which is why he was moved from 3B to 1B, and writers love to obsess about defense.

Josh Borenstein said...

He's probably overlooked by the media and the casual fan. But any serious baseball fan knows who he is and what he's about.