Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Over/under: Miguel Cabrera's average
By David Schoenfield
Miguel Cabrera has won three straight American League batting titles, hitting .344, .330 and .348. He's the first right-handed batter to win three batting titles since Bill Madlock won his fourth in 1983 and the first to capture three in a row since Rogers Hornsby won six in a row from 1920 to 1925.
Cabrera was hitting .359 through Aug. 26, after going 1-for-4 with his third home run in four games. A series of injuries affected his play the rest of the way and over his final 25 games he hit .284 with just one home run.
He says he's healthy after offseason surgery to repair core muscles damaged by a groin tear and added new exercises. His two home runs on Monday appear to indicate he's ready to go.
Cabrera turns 31 in April and there's no reason to expect any decline to start happening. The move to first base relieves him of some of the added defensive responsibility he's had the past two seasons. ZiPS projects a .317 average, Steamer .325. Both seems a little low considering what he's hit the past three seasons. Let's set the over under/under at .330.
By the way, I found this interesting: The team Cabrera hit worst against in 2013? The lowly Twins. He hit just .239 with two home runs in 19 games against them (only three of those games came in September).