The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, could be the next man to don the Triple Crown. After launching his 42nd home run on Saturday, Cabrera tied Josh Hamilton for the American League lead in home runs. The Detroit slugger already holds sole possession of the AL lead in batting average and RBIs, and is now in the hunt for a hitter's most illustrious accomplishment.
Cabrera's homer helped propel the Tigers to an 8-0 rout over the
Minnesota Twins on Saturday, and more importantly, helped the Tigers
close the gap in the AL Central between them and the Chicago White Sox to one game.
Along with the 42 home runs that Cabrera has swatted this season, he is hitting .332 and has knocked in 131 RBIs. With 13 games left to play, he is six batting average points ahead of the Angels' Mike Trout and has driven in eight more runs than Hamilton.
The slugger is going to have to stay hot if he wants to win the Triple Crown. Hee will most likely end the season with the RBI title, but Hamilton has been a long-ball machine, and with his sweet swing and quick hands, he could end the season with a power surge. Mike Trout has done nothing but hit since his call-up and if he sprinkles in a few multi-hit games — which he most likely will — he could steal the batting title away from Cabrera as easily as he steals second base.
What is most noteable about Cabrera's success this season, is that it has come at the most oppurtune time for his team. Over the last 10 games, Cabrera has hit at a .415 clip, blasted seven home runs and notched 15 RBIs. The MVP candidate has put his team on his back.
If Detroit makes it to the playoffs and Cabrera wins the Triple Crown he is a shoo-in for the MVP as well…right?
Not entirely true.
While most baseball fans would argue that Cabrera would have to win the MVP by default, new statistics like Wins Above Replacement (WAR), have a major impact on deciding those accomplishments. Cabrera's WAR this season is 6.5, while rookie Mike Trout's WAR is 10.3. The youngster also has 46 steals and has scored 120 runs this season.
Something to think about though is the fact that Justin Verlander won the pitching equivalent to the Triple Crown last season, and he was rightfully named MVP.
No matter whether Cabrera does win the Triple Crown or MVP this season, the third baseman has proved that he is one of the premier hitters in the game. If he continues to produce like he has for the past nine seasons, he will find himself enshrined alongside Yastrzemski in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.