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Sunday, November 18, 2012
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.
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