“There will be stretches where you simply cannot get him out. And there will be streaks in which he’ll club five, six homers in a week and drive in 15, 16 runs. Guaranteed.”
Last year, Miguel Cabrera wasn’t comfortable. Not for a good, long while, anyway.
There was a new team to get used to, a new city. Heck, a whole new league. He signed a big, fat contract with the Tigers — the kind that causes folks to expect a little bit from you. Correction — more like demand.
Then third base didn’t agree with him, and the feeling was mutual. He was shifted to first base not long into the season. So, more getting used to.
Toss in a slow start, which was an offshoot of the above, and you had the makings of a real mess. They started to boo a little bit at Comerica Park.
Yeah, Cabrera was uncomfortable, alright. Said so himself.
So how did all that discomfort affect his production, you might ask.
Well, he set career highs in HRs (37) and RBI (127).
Cabrera is more comfy this year. Again, right from the horse’s mouth.
Cabrera launches another one
The idea of a comfortable Cabrera, after the destruction he caused in 2008 while “uncomfortable”, ought to make American League pitchers and opposing managers curl into the fetal position.
I just hope they uncurl in time to see Cabrera be named the Most Valuable Player in the American League. You heard me.
Cabrera doesn’t have half, in 2009, of what he had to contend with in ’08. He might not even have a quarter of it. It’s all there now: settled in to the city; adored by fans (it took a while); used to the manager, his teammates; “over” his contract status; more familiar with AL pitching.
Goodness gracious — are we looking at 45 HR, 140 RBI? Maybe more?
The right-handed hitting Cabrera uses all fields; he’s no dead-pull hitter. In fact, his power to right field might be more impressive than what he has for left field. I saw Cabrera, on more than one occasion last season, simply “flick” the bat, and darned if the ball didn’t end up over the right-center field fence. He does that from time to time.
The only major stat in which Cabrera slipped last year was batting average. He “only” hit .292 in 2008, after hitting .320+ in each of the three years previous to that. But don’t forget — he was uncomfortable.
What’s not a joke is this: Miguel Cabrera has the tools, the talent, and the approach to be a multiple MVP winner before all is said and done. Especially done. There will be stretches where you simply cannot get him out. And there will be streaks in which he’ll club five, six homers in a week and drive in 15, 16 runs. Guaranteed.
Cabrera is a specimen, and did I mention that he has a birthday next month?
He turns 26.
He’s still a child, in a way, Cabrera is, and he’s already become a human wrecking ball. Just think of what he’ll do when he starts to lose the baby fat.
I’ve been known for the hyperbole; guilty as charged. I practically enshrined Justin Verlander into the Hall of Fame last spring in one of my fits. But I still stand by my prediction of greatness for JV, and I’ll do so for Mr. Cabrera. Is he even old enough for me to call him Mr. Cabrera?
Miguel Cabrera, AL MVP. Yes, in the future, but also right now. This year.