It’s easy sometimes to get carried away with accolades for one player or another. Sometimes it feels like you’re just jumping on the bandwagon. But, I want to take a moment to examine a player that many have already been praising this season, and look at how he compares, historically, with the all-time greats.
Miguel Cabrera turned just 30 years old in April. He won last year’s Triple Crown and MVP award at the age of 29. It only seems as though he has been around forever, because his career began at such a young age (hitting 33 home runs at the age of 21 in 2004). If we take just a couple minutes to examine his career up to this point, I think you’ll agree that we could be witnessing one of the greatest hitters of all time.
On the list of batters through their age-30 season, Cabrera already ranks pretty high, and his season isn’t even over. Consider where he will likely rank by the time this season comes to an end. He’ll be in the top-10 in hits (near 2,000), total bases (near 3,600), doubles (over 400), home runs (around 370), and RBI (around 1,270). Only one other player in the history of the game can claim to be on all 5 of those lists – Alex Rodriguez. And, I seem to remember hearing something about that guy and some type of drugs?
A conservative projection for Cabrera’s career would have him at 3,200 hits (top-15 all-time), 550 home runs (top-15, or top-10 if you exclude the 6 suspected cheaters), 1900+ RBI (top-5 or 10), 600+ doubles (top-15) and 5500+ total bases (top-10). Only one other player in the history of baseball ranks that highly in all of those career categories: Hank Aaron.
Cabrera is on a path blazed by very few in the past – and, I’m excited to keep watching!