Welcome to the first Player Profile of the 2014 MLB season!
With this feature on PTB Nation, I will be highlighting current (and former) MLB players throughout the season. First up, Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera!
Full Name: Jose Miguel Torres Cabrera
Nickname(s): Cabby, Miggy
Current Team: Detroit Tigers
Uniform No.: 24
Current Primary Position: First base
Former Positions: Third base, left field, designated hitter
Vital Stats: 6-4 240 lbs. 31 years old
Born on April 18, 1983 in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela
2014 Season Stats (thru 4/18): 12 games played, .220/.292/.356, 5 2b, 1 HR, 7 RBIs thru 15 games.
Accolades, Accomplishments, Awards: American League batting champion 2011-2013; Triple Crown winner in 2012 (first since 1967); A.L. Most Valuable Player 2012 & 2013; 14th player in MLB history to win back-to-back awards; 8-time All-Star; 1 World Series championship (2003)
On the Field:
Cabrera was signed as an amateur free agent by the Florida Marlins in 1999, when he was a 16-year-old shortstop at Maracay High School in his hometown of Maracay, Venezuela.
He debuted with the Marlins at age 20 in 2003, playing left field, as he had outgrown being a serviceable MLB-caliber shortstop. He finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year balloting, batting .268 with 21 doubles, 12 home runs, and 62 RBIs in 87 games. His first MLB home run was a game-winning blast in his first game, June 20, 2003.
The Marlins made the playoffs for the second time in franchise history in 2003, winning the N.L. Wild Card berth with a 91-71 record. Florida topped the Yankees in the World Series, while Cabrera batted .265 (18/68) with 11 runs scored and four home runs during the playoffs.
At age 21 in 2004, Miguel earned his first All-Star appearance and finished the season with 33 home runs, 112 RBIs, and a batting slash line of .294/.366/.512. It was first of nine 30-home run, 100-RBI seasons for Cabrera. He has knocked in 100 or more runs in ten straight years. (He swatted 26 homers in 2006 or else he’d be working on ten straight seasons of 30/100. Manny Ramirez holds that record, with nine straight 30/100 seasons from 1998-2006.) Defensively, Cabrera shifted to third base for the Marlins, and would remain there throughout his time in the Sunshine State.
Over the next three years (2005-2007), Cabrera established himself as a truly elite hitter, averaging .327/.405/.564 in 1,777 at-bats with 581 hits, 131 doubles, 93 homers, and 349 RBIs. However, with rising production came a rising price tag, and so in December of 2007, the cost-cutting (cheapskate? penny-pinching? Scroogian?) Marlins sent Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle “Whatchoo Talkin’ ‘Bout” Willis to the Detroit Tigers for a six-player package highlighted by former first-round draft picks Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller.
Since coming to the Tigers, Cabrera has won multiple awards, become arguably the most popular Tiger of his generation, been a two-time A.L. MVP, earned three consecutive batting championships, won a Triple Crown, led the team to three consecutive playoff appearances (2011-2013), rescued young children from burning buildings, defeated Lex Luthor, and won several America’s Cup Yachting championships.*
* Author’s Note: those last three might be complete B.S. I’ll get my fact-checker on it shortly.
During this time with Detroit, Cabrera, playing both first base and third base, has averaged 33 home runs, 106 RBIs, 33 doubles, 199 hits and 106 runs scored. While off to a slow start in 2014, Cabrera recently inked a 10-year, $292 million extension that should keep him in the “Olde English D” for the remainder of his career, and likely into Cooperstown.
Name Anagram: Americable Gur
Fun Fact: Cabrera has the distinction of being the sole player jersey owned by this author.
Historical Comparables: Henry Aaron, Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey, Jr.
Talkin’ About Cabby: “You’re going to make good pitches, and he’s going to hit them.” — MLB pitcher Dan Haren