The slugger of the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, is now on the verge of 500 home runs of his lifetime career in MLB. And every time a player of his stature reaches a major milestone, it is natural to wonder where he stands in history. Cabrera, a two-time MVP and the most recent Triple Crown winner (in 2012), is one of the great right-handers of his time and in the conversation among the best in history. But where does he really compare to the greatest right-wing hitters of all time in the major leagues?
Analysts MLB.com Sarah Langs, Mike Petriello, and Matt Kelly discussed whetherMiguel Cabrera Is he the best right-handed hitter of all time in the Major Leagues ?, in a panel discussion, moderated by editor Matt Meyers.
Miguel Cabrera is in the conversation, but as soon as you remember that Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were straight … That will make it difficult for Miggy. Different times, and Miguel probably faced much better pitching. But that is as intimate as possible with those two, it is not a contempt for Caberra.
The hardest one-to-one comparison of the time of Miguel Cabrera is Albert Pujols.
But to be the best of all, you have to have at least one single thing that points towards that. It’s great that he has 18 different double-digit home run seasons, but nine right-handed hitters have more. It is unbelievably impressive to see a 143 wRC + in almost 11,000 race PA… Except Mays, [Frank] Thomas, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and [Mike] Schmidt did it in a similar or better way.
It is Miguel Cabrera much better than Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell?
It is Miguel Cabrera the best right-handed hitter of the 21st century? The last 10 years?
Miguel Cabrera was probably slightly overshadowed by Pujols during the early years of Miggy. Then, just as Cabrera explodes with the Tigers, comes Mike Trout. However, this is interesting: if you start the clock on Cabrera’s 2003 debut season, Miggy He outscores Pujols in hits, doubles, batting average, OBP, OPS and is basically tied for on-base times (4,206 to 4,195). Pujols had a two-year lead (and they were great years), but Cabrera has stayed pound-for-pound with him on basically everything except home runs, and yes Miggy Hadn’t he played so many home games at Pro Player Stadium and Comerica Park, I think he’d be a lot closer too.
Trout is obviously the best talent in all respects, and he will probably surpass them both. But Miguel Cabrera he’s even closer to Pujols than he thought.
How different would we see Miguel Cabrera if the last five years had not been so difficult?
Age 20-33: 155 OPS + Age 34-38: 100 OPS +. Miguel Cabrera He made his debut at age 20 and won his second AL Most Valuable Player award in his 30-year season. Miggy he is about to become the seventh player to exceed 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. And the other right-handed hitters in that group are Aaron, Mays, A-Rod and Pujols. Those are the only names that belong in this conversation about the best right-handed hitter in the history of MLB.
Miguel Cabrera and A-Rod have extremely similar career figures. I don’t think you can have one without the other. (Remember, offense only; obviously Rodriguez was a more valuable defender.)
The winners would be: Mays, Aaron, Pujols. Later Miguel Cabrera, A-Rod, Manny Ramírez, Frank Robinson, etc.
Who is the best right-hander of all time in MLB?
Willie Mays. He has the highest offensive WAR (according to Baseball Reference) of any right-handed hitter in history. All stats counting with 660 home runs and more than 3,000 hits, plus 155 OPS +. That’s one of the best all-rights rights of all time, and you can’t think of a more confident hitter when he needs a hit with a season, series or championship on the line.
You can’t go wrong with Mays. Part of that is just that he spanned from the Negro Leagues to his first year as a designated, which is an incredible run through baseball history. Partly that’s because at 40 and 41 he was still amazing, posting an OPS of 148+ those years. And he has the highest offensive WAR of any right-hander, I don’t know how to beat that.
Pujols had this in his sights when he signed with the Angels, but it’s Aaron by a hair more than Mays. Trout’s recent injuries aren’t emblematic of a decomposing body, but they are a reminder to maintain that greatness in your 30s. Pujols is the perfect example that this is easier said than done.
With information and image of MLB.com (Sarah Langs, Mike Petriello, Matt Kelly, and Matt Meyers).