By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – There have been many great home run hitters, and there have been many great hitters for average. Much rarer are players who consistently excel in both areas.
Through 93 games this season, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera leads all players with a .365 batting average. With 30 home runs, Cabrera is second to Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis, who has already hit 37 over the fence. However, Davis’ average is 50 points lower than Cabrera’s.
Davis has recorded the sixth-most whiffs in the game, with 110. Cabrera has 64, good for 93rd place on the list of strikeouts.
Cabrera has a whopping .458 on-base percentage, 66 points higher than that of Davis.
Davis is leading the category that gets the most headlines, but Cabrera is by far the most complete player in the game today.
In fact, he is one of the most complete players ever.
Take a look at the company he keeps. Plenty of players have hit .320 or better in a season in which they also blasted 30 or more home runs, but not many have done it often.
Josh Hamilton did it once. Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Willie Mays each did it twice.
Cabrera has batted .320 or better and smacked 30 or more home runs six times – at least three times as often as any of those Hall of Fame-caliber players.
Who has accomplished this power-average excellence more often? Essentially, only some of the best players of all time.
Babe Ruth did it 12 times. Lou Gehrig, nine. Albert Pujols, eight. Ted Williams, seven. Hank Aaron and Stan Musial, six.
Most of those legends played around 20 years. If Cabrera plays that long, it will have taken him just half his career to record more .320/30 seasons than Barry Bonds did in his whole career (five).
Obviously, everyone mentioned here – despite some being questionable because of alleged steroid use – is either already in the Hall of Fame or has the statistics to be an absolute lock.
Even though he has tons of baseball left to play, it is already clear that Cabrera should be no exception.