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 Post subject: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:31 pm 
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He has a very good chance to win the Triple Crown in back to back years. As far as I can tell only two players in history have 2, Rogers Hornsby ('22 and '25) and Ted Williams ('42 and '47). No player has ever done it in consecutive years in the history of major league baseball.

So I have questions for discussion:

1. If he does it again, is it considered the greatest two years by any player ever?

2. Where does Miguel Cabrera rank right now as one of the all time greatest players?

Just some career (11 years) numbers to date (he turned 30 in April):
321 BA
398 OBP
568 SLG
966 OPS
1937 H
350 HR
1216 RBI


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:41 pm 
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1. I almost think it would have to be. Especially because it looks like it'll take an absolutely amazing HR total to beat Davis....he won't be backing into this one.

2. He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen (which is admittedly not a lot compared to most). Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.. Have no idea where he would wind up all time but if he continues this pace it'd almost have to be Top 25 at least, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:44 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
1. I almost think it would have to be. Especially because it looks like it'll take an absolutely amazing HR total to beat Davis....he won't be backing into this one.

2. He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen (which is admittedly not a lot compared to most). Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.. Have no idea where he would wind up all time but if he continues this pace it'd almost have to be Top 25 at least, right?


Right now Davis has 33 and Cabrera has 30, almost going to come down to who goes on the DL.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Miguel Cabrera is just an amazing hitter. The number of balls he hammers to right field and right-center should be witness to the fact that driving pitches on the outside corner the other way works.

P.S. Notice how well Pedro has been going the other way of late? Lots of base hits that way, the HR to center, the HR to left-center vs. the Cubs. Pedro may be taking notice.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:15 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.


The only issue with this statement is that Jr. was a prodigious fielder and runner.

Image

Plus, the smile!

Image

Jr. was the ultimate 'five-tool' player. The fact that he recovered so quickly from his gigantism was also stuff of legend. ;) :D

Image

But yes, Miggy is one of the best pure hitters [ever] and one of the best of this era. It's good that a baseball city like Detroit gets to enjoy him (and hilarious that Miami was too cheap to keep such a generational talent).

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:28 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.


The only issue with this statement is that Jr. was a prodigious fielder and runner.

Image

Plus, the smile!

Image

Jr. was the ultimate 'five-tool' player. The fact that he recovered so quickly from his gigantism was also stuff of legend. ;) :D

Image

But yes, Miggy is one of the best pure hitters [ever] and one of the best of this era. It's good that a baseball city like Detroit gets to enjoy him (and hilarious that Miami was too cheap to keep such a generational talent).


Whats more amazing is that they had him, and now they have Stanton


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:31 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
nsmaster56 wrote:
It's good that a baseball city like Detroit gets to enjoy him (and hilarious that Miami was too cheap to keep such a generational talent).


Whats more amazing is that they had him, and now they have Stanton


Miami knows how to acquire/draft talent, just not how to keep it.

Then again, they do have 2 WS rings in 20 years, so... :cry: :oops:

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Last edited by NSMaster56 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Yeah I might have phrased it poorly, Griffey, Jr. is the best overall player I've ever seen. Cabrera 2nd to him, the bat is just incredible.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:29 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen (which is admittedly not a lot compared to most). Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.


Bonds?


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:38 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen (which is admittedly not a lot compared to most). Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.


Bonds?


Nah. Cabrera better BA by a significant amount, Bonds had slugging and OBP inflated by steroids.

Good hitter, not Cabrera. Couldn't field like Griffey either.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:56 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Nah. Cabrera better BA by a significant amount, Bonds had slugging and OBP inflated by steroids.

Good hitter, not Cabrera. Couldn't field like Griffey either.


Bonds is the best player of all-time for me. Wasn't comparing him to Cabrera, just the "best natural hitter I've ever seen" quip, that easily goes to Bonds for me. Also wouldn't diminish his defense in that way to say that he didn't come close to Griffey. Of course Cabrera has a better BA currently ... Bonds had a better career OPS through 22 seasons played than Cabrera currently posts. Not really willing to get into a steroid-inflation argument right now though. Maybe later.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:54 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
TheShark wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen (which is admittedly not a lot compared to most). Probably the 2nd best overall player I've seen too behind Griffey, Jr.


Bonds?


Nah. Cabrera better BA by a significant amount, Bonds had slugging and OBP inflated by steroids.

Good hitter, not Cabrera. Couldn't field like Griffey either.

Best defensive left fielder I ever saw. Best hitter I ever saw, and it wasn't all that close. Griffey was great at his peak, though, and his defense was spectacular before injuries cut him down. Bonds was a much better base stealer. Bonds' OBP is what puts him over the top for me.

I compared their stats through age 31, because Bonds started his PED use at age 32.

Griffey -.296-.379-.566-.945
Bonds - .288-.404.548-.952

Barry Bonds the better hitter through age 31, but it was very, very close. Bonds was much the better at stealing bases.

Griffey - 175 SB, 64 CS.
Bonds - 380 SB, 110 CS.

But you also have to take a couple of other factors into account. Griffey was in the majors at age 19; Bonds came up at 21. That's a substantial advantage for Griffey. Also, while Bonds was the best defensive left fielder I've ever seen (though Starling Marte might end up having something to say about that), Griffey was one the best defensive center fielders I've ever seen. That's another substantial advantage for Griffey. I don't see any way that you can say that Bonds was better through age 31, though it was pretty close.

After age 31 it's no contest. The problem is that there really isn't a way to know what Bonds would have done without the PEDs. We DO know what Griffey did.

Griffey - .257-.348-.477-.825

Pretty good, when he could get on the field, but a big dropoff from his younger years. During that time he also gradually went from being a great center fielder to less than great right fielder to DH. He had more or less stopped stealing bases when he was 30.

There's no telling what Bonds' number would have been after age 32 without PEDs. We can, however, see how his numbers were trending up until then. Here are his OPS numbers from ages 27 through 31:

27 - 1.080
28 - 1.136
29 - 1.073
30 - 1.009
31 - 1.076

These numbers basically kick butt over what Griffey was producing at the same ages. Griffey had the better career through age 31, no doubt about it. But Bonds was a much better player going into his 32nd year that Griffey was at the same stage. In fact, three of those seasons were better than any season Griffey ever had, and one of the other two was only .003 below Griffey's best. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to assume that Bonds would have had much, much better numbers from that point on without ever touching a PED.

My conclusion was that Bonds would have been the better player, even without PEDs, but it really doesn't matter much to me if you would prefer Griffey. You pretty much couldn't go wrong with either one of them.

I'm glad this came up, even if it was indirectly. I really enjoyed compiling those numbers. I just wish I could get my hands on my old Baseball Abstracts. Bill James had a formula that projected how a guys career would end after any given age. Not that those numbers would have been gospel, but they would have been interesting to see. It was a fun toy to use.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Bonds definitely close with Griffey with those hit numbers.

My big differentiator between the two, even before positional considerations, is Bonds' lack of an arm.

They were talking about 5 tool players on MLB Network and how it gets tossed out whenever a guy is great, but a lot of times isn't applicable. Their prime examples were Bonds and Trout, who they all were pretty vehement wouldn't grade above a 50 at any time in their career in terms of the arm. Griffey, though, had an absolute cannon from CF. Literally could do anything he wanted on a baseball field.

That was my big decider defensively.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:28 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Bonds definitely close with Griffey with those hit numbers.

My big differentiator between the two, even before positional considerations, is Bonds' lack of an arm.

They were talking about 5 tool players on MLB Network and how it gets tossed out whenever a guy is great, but a lot of times isn't applicable. Their prime examples were Bonds and Trout, who they all were pretty vehement wouldn't grade above a 50 at any time in their career in terms of the arm. Griffey, though, had an absolute cannon from CF. Literally could do anything he wanted on a baseball field.

That was my big decider defensively.

Bonds didn't have a strong arm, no doubt about it. But he was outstanding at charging balls, and at cutting off balls down the line. Those two skills prevented tons of runners from advancing.

I read a study once about outfielders preventing runners from getting extra bases. Bonds was way up there, among the best in baseball up until that time. Guys just didn't try to run on him that often. Wish I could remember the source; it was a real eye-opener.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:46 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I'm glad this came up, even if it was indirectly. I really enjoyed compiling those numbers. I just wish I could get my hands on my old Baseball Abstracts. Bill James had a formula that projected how a guys career would end after any given age. Not that those numbers would have been gospel, but they would have been interesting to see. It was a fun toy to use.


I have the New Historical Baseball Abstract and Bill James echos your comments that at the time the new version was written (2001 I believe), Bonds was the best LF he'd ever seen, would likely become one of the best hitters of all-time, and would be the game's best power/speed player. This being pre-PED controversy and criticism, he also made a point to say that Bonds was far under-appreciated at the time given the superstar status of Griffey in the 90s. I believe he ranked Biggio second and Griffey third in his top players of the 90s rankings. To me hearing someone speak poorly of Bonds defensively is just a product of the scandal/lightning rod of criticism over the steroid era.

To me no hitter should be compared to Bonds who's name isn't George or Ted.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:09 pm 
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There have been rumblings/rumors over the years that Jr. broke down because he was so natually gifted that he wasn't discplined enough to work out/stretch properly (which caught up to him in his later years).

Bonds probably was 'underappreciated' during the 90's because of Jr.

Another great hitter of the era who was hyped early, but then fell off the radar after the 'Home Run Chase' was Frank 'Big Hurt' Thomas. He was a physical freak with prodigious talent. He's probably the third best hitter of the 90's, or certainly in the discussion.

By current comparison, it's going to be interesting to see what happens to Pujols' legacy if he does continue his 'big fade'. Between him, Miggy and even a guy like Ichiro, the number of great hitters over the last 10 years (not tainted by PED allegations) is running thin.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:51 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I'm glad this came up, even if it was indirectly. I really enjoyed compiling those numbers. I just wish I could get my hands on my old Baseball Abstracts. Bill James had a formula that projected how a guys career would end after any given age. Not that those numbers would have been gospel, but they would have been interesting to see. It was a fun toy to use.


I have the New Historical Baseball Abstract and Bill James echos your comments that at the time the new version was written (2001 I believe), Bonds was the best LF he'd ever seen, would likely become one of the best hitters of all-time, and would be the game's best power/speed player. This being pre-PED controversy and criticism, he also made a point to say that Bonds was far under-appreciated at the time given the superstar status of Griffey in the 90s. I believe he ranked Biggio second and Griffey third in his top players of the 90s rankings. To me hearing someone speak poorly of Bonds defensively is just a product of the scandal/lightning rod of criticism over the steroid era.

To me no hitter should be compared to Bonds who's name isn't George or Ted.

Sounds about right.

I think that there is a major reason James wrote that about Bonds being under appreciated that he didn't take into account. Barry Bonds is one of baseball's all time dicks. He was roundly disliked by his own teammates, for goodness sake. You can find a lot of quotes from people praising Bonds as a ballplayer, but I've never seen a single quote that was complimentary to him as a person.

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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:10 am 
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color me bonds, what a friggin' talent. heck, no other player in history had the bat taken out of their hands more often, his career ibb total is more than the next two players combined, he's been intentionally walked four times in a game and intentionally walked with the bases loaded. i'll never forget his home run blast in the 2002 world series - salmon could be seen mouthing "i've never seen a ball hit that far" as he launched it. living in the sf bay area i got to see a lot of bonds, and for me it took some of the sting out of him leaving pittsburgh given he was reunited with his old man and the sf fans absolutely loved him... during the 2002 ws run i caught a couple of playoff games and it was a sight to behold whenever he batted, tens of thousands of flash bulbs going off simultaneously every time he took a swing, it was really quite emotional. also, around the same time, costas did a special on ped use in baseball (hbo i think) and focused on bonds - he interviewed several people including leyland, bob gibson and van slyke and asked them if bonds' performances should carry an asterisk. leyland looked at costas like he had shat for brains and said something to the effect that if costas couldn't look past that and recognize bonds as one of greatest players in decades then he didn't know baseball. van slyke said he would have certainly popped peds but no one in the pirates' clubhouse ever approached him, that he wasn't in the "in" circle. gibson rolled his eyes at the question and said every post 1968 batting record should carry an asterisk given the league lowered the mound. anyway, bonds will always be my guy when it comes to these type of debates, what a sight to behold.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:16 am 
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tprothro wrote:
color me bonds, what a friggin' talent. heck, no other player in history had the bat taken out of their hands more often, his career ibb total is more than the next two players combined, he's been intentionally walked four times in a game and intentionally walked with the bases loaded. i'll never forget his home run blast in the 2002 world series - salmon could be seen mouthing "i've never seen a ball hit that far" as he launched it. living in the sf bay area i got to see a lot of bonds, and for me it took some of the sting out of him leaving pittsburgh given he was reunited with his old man and the sf fans absolutely loved him... during the 2002 ws run i caught a couple of playoff games and it was a sight to behold whenever he batted, tens of thousands of flash bulbs going off simultaneously every time he took a swing, it was really quite emotional. also, around the same time, costas did a special on ped use in baseball (hbo i think) and focused on bonds - he interviewed several people including leyland, bob gibson and van slyke and asked them if bonds' performances should carry an asterisk. leyland looked at costas like he had shat for brains and said something to the effect that if costas couldn't look past that and recognize bonds as one of greatest players in decades then he didn't know baseball. van slyke said he would have certainly popped peds but no one in the pirates' clubhouse ever approached him, that he wasn't in the "in" circle. gibson rolled his eyes at the question and said every post 1968 batting record should carry an asterisk given the league lowered the mound. anyway, bonds will always be my guy when it comes to these type of debates, what a sight to behold.


Great post.


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 Post subject: Re: Miguel Cabrera
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:32 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
Sounds about right.

I think that there is a major reason James wrote that about Bonds being under appreciated that he didn't take into account. Barry Bonds is one of baseball's all time dicks. He was roundly disliked by his own teammates, for goodness sake. You can find a lot of quotes from people praising Bonds as a ballplayer, but I've never seen a single quote that was complimentary to him as a person.

I think it is really hard to overstate how much Barry Bonds is reviled by the casual sports fan. Ultimately, being a dick matters, esp if we're talking about ballplayers' legacies. Clubhouse matters in public perception too. If you compare Bonds to Ricky Henderson, another egocentric, me-first player in search of records, , Henderson is remembered much more fondly because his teammates, and he had a LOT of them, remember Henderson fondly. It's kind of like the old Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio debate: Joe's only in the conversation mostly because Ted was something of an ass. And I also contend that if Pete Rose wasn't such a prick, say he had Gary Carter's personality, he'd be in the Hall today.

In the court of public opinion, personality matters.


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