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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Panas: Miguel Cabrera’s Three-Year Run Best Since Ty Cobb

But… but… but… Don Wert’s fancy glove was part of Tiger success in the 1960s!

According to the Baseball-Reference Batting Season Finder, Cabrera’s 193 Batting Runs from 2010-2012 was the best in Major League Baseball by a wide margin.  This means he was an estimated 193 runs or 64 runs per year better than an average player in the same number of plate appearances.  The second highest total was 159 by Reds first baseman Joey Votto.  His closet competition in the American League was Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista with 140, a whopping 53 runs fewer than Cabrera.  Without a doubt, the Tigers superstar has been the best hitter in baseball for three years.

Where does Cabrera’s three-season run stand in Tigers history?  Table 1 below looks at the best three-season Batting Runs totals ever.  As usual, the legendary Ty Cobb is the leader with 211 from 1910-1912 (without even including his base running).  The Hall-of-Fame outfielder also had 202 Batting Runs from 1915-1917 and two other sums higher than 193 in overlapping seasons.

Other than Cobb though, the best aggregate belongs to Cabrera at 193.  Nobody else is particularly close, so we can say that Cabrera’s last three seasons have been the best for the franchise since 1917.  When I’ve done these lists in the past, they have always been populated by players who played prior to 1950.  The familiar names of Cobb, first baseman Hank Greenberg and Harry Heilmann still appear on the list, but now Cabrera has passed all but Cobb.

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics, tigers

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4305464)
His closet competition in the American League was Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista

The author left off the obligatory "Not that there's anything wrong with that".
   2. BDC Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4305479)
Oh, for the Tigers. I was thinking from the headline "all-time, for all players," which would have been nonsense.

But for the Tigers, sure, Cabrera is right up there. Aside from Cobb, probably the only two other Tiger hitters as good, relative to league, over several seasons, were Heilmann and Greenberg – and their best years are not continuous. (Heilmann would famously win the batting title predictably every other year.)

Best Tiger single season ever by either RBat or BtRuns is still Norm Cash, 1961.

   3. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4305492)
"Miquel"? Come on.
   4. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4305515)
Miggy is very good at batting runs, winning awards, and pretty bad at everything else.
   5. Bhaakon Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4305517)
Miggy is very good at batting runs, winning awards, and pretty bad at everything else.


If you can only pick one marketable skill to be good at, hitting a baseball has got to be near the top of the list.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4305518)
If you can only pick one marketable skill to be good at, hitting a baseball has got to be near the top of the list.

just Miggy being Miggy
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4305537)
Hitting is the most visually obvious (and entertaining) evidence of excellence in baseball.
   8. Greg K Posted: November 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4305567)
Hitting is the most visually obvious (and entertaining) evidence of excellence in baseball.

This brings to mind Dylan Moran's analysis of the phrase, "Sure she's attractive, but in such an obvious way".
   9. tiger337 Posted: November 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4305576)
Hitting is Cabrera's only skill, but he is really really good at that. If they gave a three-year MVP award, I'd choose him. Anyway, as a Tigers blogger, I had to write a positive article about Cabrera after spending so much time trying to convince fellow Tigers fans that Trout was the MVP.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: November 18, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4305584)
It's a pretty impressive total. Pujols has just one run that beats it; Bonds doesn't have one until 2000-2002. McGwire doesn't have one; Sosa ties him from 2000-2. Edgar doesn't do it, Thomas had an amazing run from 91-97 but never quite beats him in any 3 years. Wow, Giambi from 2000-2 (was there something in the water?) put up 214!

Oh crap! I was using Rbat not BatRuns. Grrr! Cabrera's last 3 years in Rbat is just 172 and lots of folks beat that. I knew that list didn't make sense. BatRuns is too annoying to check but (as an example) Giambi had 230 of those in that run.
   11. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4305911)
Miggy is very good at batting runs, winning awards, and pretty bad at everything else.


He has a high tolerance for alcohol. I'd guess he has a high tolerance for cheeseburgers too.
   12. The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4305931)
Giambi from 2000-2 (was there something in the water?)
Kind of...

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