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ESPN: Cabrera chances at triple crown?

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So I came across this little diddy and wanted to post my problem with it to see if I'm being unreasonable.

No batter has won the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, and very few have even come close. But it's now Aug. 16, and Miguel Cabrera is second the the AL in hitting (.327), third in homers (30) and first in RBIs (103). Can he do it? We asked our experts to handicap his odds.

1. Cabrera has a ________ percent chance of winning the Triple Crown.

Eric Karabell (@karabellespn), ESPN.com: About a 10 percent chance. Cabrera is awesome, of course, but I'm a believer in Mike Trout being able to sustain his batting average, and I don't see Adam Dunn losing his home run lead, either. Cabrera is on pace for his best power season, which is a feat, but he's had better overall years offensively, and there's a reason nobody has won the Triple Crown since Lyndon Johnson was president.

Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit: I'd say 15 percent. He trails Trout by .013, and Trout's 80 speed (on the 20-80 scouting scale) guarantees plenty of infield hits. Miggy is slugging .684 at home, and with 25 more games there he has a good chance of catching Dunn in homers and holding off [Josh] Hamilton in RBIs.

Hudson Belinsky (@hudsonbelinsky), Halos Daily: Let's say 25 percent. Cabrera's a special hitter, but it's really, really hard to win the Triple Crown. He's a freak, but I wouldn't bet on him to out-hit Mike Trout, outslug Josh Hamilton and Adam Dunn, and knock in more runners than Hamilton. Is he among the best hitters and sluggers in baseball? Yes. Will he win the Triple Crown? No.

2. True or false: Cabrera is now the best pure hitter in baseball.

Karabell: False. How does one define the term pure hitter? When I think of pure hitters I think of Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn, and they weren't power guys. Nothing against Cabrera and other right-handed power hitters, but I think Joey Votto, Robinson Cano and Joe Mauer fit the description pretty well, though they aren't likely to win home run titles. To me the lefties have the more pure swings. I'd vote for Votto.

Firstman: True. He's on pace to lower his strikeout rate for the fifth consecutive season (now at 12.6 percent) while compiling an OPS+ of 157 during his time in Motown. He is hitting .273/.273/.513 with the pitcher ahead in the count! (League average is .206/.215/310.) If he had some foot speed, he'd hit .370 every year.

Belisnky: False. I'll take Mike Trout, but only by a hair. When players get as hot as Cabrera is it can be easy to buy into the small sample of awesomeness. Bottom line, if you told me I could have one hitter right now and I had to DH them, I'd take the 21-year-old.

3. What do you think his legacy will be?

Karabell: Cabrera has had a terrific career, and there's plenty more left, but he's been in the shadows of Albert Pujols for nearly all of it. Perhaps that's changing now, but Pujols has Cabrera 3-0 in MVP awards and 2-1 in World Series titles. Plus, Cabrera has never been a strong defender, and Pujols has been. Cabrera has big years ahead of him and Hall of Fame entry pending, but his legacy will still be as the second-best right-handed hitter of this generation.

Firstman: He's not had a spotless career, with some off-the-field drinking issues taking a little luster away from his generational hitting talent on the field. He's not stellar with the glove, but give him credit for moving (back) to third for the sake of the team this year. I think of him the same way as I do Frank Thomas, as a "professional hitter."

Belinsky: Cabrera may go down as the greatest hitter of his generation; his career 150 OPS+ is incredible and he may retire as a member of the 500 club. The 29-year-old contributed to a World Series championship as a youngster and has a chance to win again for the next several seasons. It's hard to keep guys like him out of the Hall of Fame.

Look, I know Trout has been good...but are you kidding me? People employed by ESPN are saying Trout is the best hitter in baseball? After basically 2/3rds of a season of play? Is this real life? And Joe Mauer being a better pure hitter than Cabrera?

I feel like most of the media types are thinking Cabrera is a power hitter and nothing more...I think everyone here has seen his ability to seemingly take any pitch and put it where ever he damn well pleases on the field on the field of play sometimes, battle a pitcher in a tight situation and seemingly always come through with RISP. I just think it's absolutely ludicrous for anyone to say Mike friggin Trout is the best pure hitter in baseball.

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So I came across this little diddy and wanted to post my problem with it to see if I'm being unreasonable.

Look, I know Trout has been good...but are you kidding me? People employed by ESPN are saying Trout is the best hitter in baseball? After basically 2/3rds of a season of play? Is this real life? And Joe Mauer being a better pure hitter than Cabrera?

I feel like most of the media types are thinking Cabrera is a power hitter and nothing more...I think everyone here has seen his ability to seemingly take any pitch and put it where ever he damn well pleases on the field on the field of play sometimes, battle a pitcher in a tight situation and seemingly always come through with RISP. I just think it's absolutely ludicrous for anyone to say Mike friggin Trout is the best pure hitter in baseball.

The thing the mediates against Trout in my mind is the number of guys for whom their 1st season was their best with the bat. He is no doubt flat out Willie Mays phenomenal right now, but we just don't know if he will still be at 3000 PA or if he will ever put up 900 RBI in 9 seasons.

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I bet the offices of ESPN really stink. With them enjoying the smell of their own farts all day long.

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Awesome how EVERY single year we can at least entertain the idea that he could do it. The dude is just sick.

2. True or false: Cabrera is now the best pure hitter in baseball.

Karabell: False. How does one define the term pure hitter? When I think of pure hitters I think of Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn, and they weren't power guys. Nothing against Cabrera and other right-handed power hitters, but I think Joey Votto, Robinson Cano and Joe Mauer fit the description pretty well, though they aren't likely to win home run titles. To me the lefties have the more pure swings. I'd vote for Votto.

lol

You can of course make an argument for Cano and Votto, but Mauer? And he is comparing a righty -v- 3 lefties. And it does not say 'right now'...it simply says best hitter. Canos career OPS is .851 and Cabby is .952 and Cabby has sustained it longer and it is better.

Belisnky: False. I'll take Mike Trout, but only by a hair. When players get as hot as Cabrera is it can be easy to buy into the small sample of awesomeness. Bottom line, if you told me I could have one hitter right now and I had to DH them, I'd take the 21-year-old.

LMAO! 'Players get hot as Cabrera'???? WTF is this guy talking about? He has sustained greatness for 10 years and Trout is a rookie with not even a full season under his belt and he is calling Cabby the 'hot hitter'?

And of course if you were starting a team right now you would most likely go with Trout, but not because he is better but because he is 8 years younger and does some of the other things in the game better...running, fielding etc, but it is not 'overall player' they asked who the better hitter was right now. How you can pick Trout over Cabby is beyond my comprehension.

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A...

And of course if you were starting a team right now you would most likely go with Trout, but not because he is better but because he is 8 years younger and does some of the other things in the game better...running, fielding etc,...

I'm not even sure that is true. If you take Cabby today that is as close to a 4-5 yr guaranteed performance as you can find. I'd say that after less than 600 PA Mr. Trout is still a bigger risk to be a one year phenom. I don't wish him ill, but there have been a lot more one year wonder performances than there have been Miguel Cabreras.

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You have to give them somewhat of a break over at ESPN. Once they stop talking about the NFL, they get kinda' lost.

I hope Cabrera stays hot for a few more weeks! Sheesh!

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JBK: Have you not even looked at Trout's numbers?? He has a higher OPS (yes, really), and 38 stolen bases. It isn't that hard to comprehend why someone would call him a better offensive player.

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I'm not even sure that is true. If you take Cabby today that is as close to a 4-5 yr guaranteed performance as you can find. I'd say that after less than 600 PA Mr. Trout is still a bigger risk to be a one year phenom. I don't wish him ill, but there have been a lot more one year wonder performances than there have been Miguel Cabreras.

Absolutely! While I was typing it I was thinking the same thing, but I can at least see someone making a case for starting a team with Trout, but when taken in context of what the question was 'bet pure hitter' it does not correlate at all.

Just think of how crazy people would have been talking about Shelton if he kept up what he started for just 2 more months! Look how that turned out.

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JBK: Have you not even looked at Trout's numbers?? He has a higher OPS (yes, really), and 38 stolen bases. It isn't that hard to comprehend why someone would call him a better offensive player.

When it comes to 'expert analysis' I expect more than 'Look how HOT Cabrera is!' when comparing him to a rookie with 3 months in the league.

It was not 'offensive player' it was 'pure hitter'. Do you think Trout is a better 'pure hitter' than Cabby? If not then no need arguing with me over semantics because we agree. If you do think Trout is a better 'pure hitter' than Cabby then I would love to hear your reasoning for that.

And yes...I have looked at Trouts numbers.

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Leave it to ESPN to try and downplay Miggy. What an awful network. Trout has had a fantastic, historical rookie season yes, but it's still only one year. Remember the first few months of Boesch we thought we had mini Miggy? Cabrera has been doing this since 2003.

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When it comes to 'expert analysis' I expect more than 'Look how HOT Cabrera is!' when comparing him to a rookie with 3 months in the league.

It was not 'offensive player' it was 'pure hitter'. Do you think Trout is a better 'pure hitter' than Cabby? If not then no need arguing with me over semantics because we agree. If you do think Trout is a better 'pure hitter' than Cabby then I would love to hear your reasoning for that.

And yes...I have looked at Trouts numbers.

I guess it just depends on how you view "pure hitter". I don't even think such a thing exists. What's it mean?? I don't think I've ever called someone a pure hitter. You're either a great offensive player or you're not. I just don't get what "pure hitter" means. It seems like something people came up with to excuse people from hitting with power, i.e. Ichiro.

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Yeah I have to agree the idea that Miguel Cabrera is on a nearly decade long hot streak was pretty hilarious. I have no idea what the guy was trying to say there.

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I guess it just depends on how you view "pure hitter". I don't even think such a thing exists. What's it mean?? I don't think I've ever called someone a pure hitter. You're either a great offensive player or you're not. I just don't get what "pure hitter" means. It seems like something people came up with to excuse people from hitting with power, i.e. Ichiro.

Ok then...take out the 'pure' part and just say hitter which is what the article was asking.

Do you think Trout is a better hitter (not offensive player) than Miggy?

FWIW: I always considered the exact opposite with the pure hitter definition...I, personally, use it to describe hitters who hit for average AND power. Pujols, Bonds, Cabrera etc etc. Dunn is a power hitter, but not a 'pure hitter'. Ichiro may be a GREAT hitter, but he is not a 'pure hitter' IMO.

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Yeah I have to agree the idea that Miguel Cabrera is on a nearly decade long hot streak was pretty hilarious. I have no idea what the guy was trying to say there.

Probably the BIGGEST thing that set me off with that 'expert analysis'. Trout the 3 month player is the better hitter because the guy who has done it for 9-10 years straight and been top 5 in MVP voting like 4 times is the 'hot hitter right now'!

lol

I cannot lol enough at that.

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Ask MLB pitchers who they would rather face with the game on the line, Trout or Cabrera and I would wager that the vast majority would say Trout.

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Ok then...take out the 'pure' part and just say hitter which is what the article was asking.

Do you think Trout is a better hitter (not offensive player) than Miggy?

FWIW: I always considered the exact opposite with the pure hitter definition...I, personally, use it to describe hitters who hit for average AND power. Pujols, Bonds, Cabrera etc etc. Dunn is a power hitter, but not a 'pure hitter'. Ichiro may be a GREAT hitter, but he is not a 'pure hitter' IMO.

He's a better hitter than him this year, yes. Their numbers are incredibly comparable across the board, but Trout has been a tad better. I'm not sure how park factor plays into it though. He obviously missed a big chunk of April though. We'll see where they both finish up at the end of the season.

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When I see "pure hitter" I view it as best hitter, with no regard to position or defense or speed. Which hitter is most likely to have the ball come off the bat in the most productive manner (little credit given to infield single type hits that are a result of speed).

With cabrera's high average and low strikeout rate, and discerning eye preventing him from swinging at garbage, along with his power, I think he is the best pure hitter in baseball.

Trout has had some babip luck to get his numbers where they are, which is basically a wash with Cabrera anyway. The fact that Cabrera has a track record helps his case over a guy with 400 or so MLB plate appearances to his name.

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That thing about Trout being the better hitter, and how easy it is to get swept up in the excitement of a hot streak over a small sample size for Cabrera, that's pure gold. Signature worthy stuff IMO.

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That thing about Trout being the better hitter, and how easy it is to get swept up in the excitement of a hot streak over a small sample size for Cabrera, that's pure gold. Signature worthy stuff IMO.

Yeah...this is LMAO worthy:

"I'll take Mike Trout, but only by a hair. When players get as hot as Cabrera is it can be easy to buy into the small sample of awesomeness. " -Bo Balinsky

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How many times does Cabrera have to come in top 5 in MVP voting before people start to give the credit he deserves? And this is NOT a 'he gets NO credit because he plays in Detroit and Detroit gets no respect' old bit. It is a legitimate question about him getting credit for what he has done in the past and what he continues to do.

The other thread about MVP this year is just another example.

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This is the media's way of skewing things to create some stir. Only one of these people is "employed" by espn, and one comes from "Halos Daily" so of course he's going to over value Mike Trout the same way people on here actually discussed Quinten Berry's chances of winning Rookie of the Year a month a go.

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He's just an Angels homer/trolling. He posted this on his twitter yesterday:

Hudson Belinsky ‏@hudsonbelinsky

As far as I'm concerned, the Tigers should fire Jim Leyland for not benching Miguel Cabrera.

Here's his "further analysis" on Halos daily:

Better Pure Hitter: Trout or Cabrera?

I like Mike. You can like Miguel. I’m okay with it. In the Triple Play piece, I mentioned that it was easy to get enamored with small sample size awesomeness with respect to Cabrera, not Trout. I made the mistake of thinking people would understand that I meant that last week or so, in which Cabrera has been absolutely incredible. And I’m not being sarcastic; it was a genuine mistake. Yes, I’m aware that Miguel Cabrera has been great for most of my life and that Trout has played less than a full season.

So he's saying since Miguel Cabrera can't sustain his stats of the last week, it means Trout is the better hitter.

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He's just an Angels homer/trolling. He posted this on his twitter yesterday:

Here's his "further analysis" on Halos daily:

Better Pure Hitter: Trout or Cabrera?

So he's saying since Miguel Cabrera can't sustain his stats of the last week, it means Trout is the better hitter.

He keeps putting his foot in his mouth trying to justify his dumb words.

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Which one has been the better hitter this year? It's been very close. Trout has a slight edge in the numbers, but not enough to say he is significantly better.

Which one has been the better offensive player? Trout when you add in the base running.

Who has been the better overall player? Trout everything considered.

This was a silly article, but people should stop getting upset when they read that someone thinks Trout has been better than Cabrera this year. That's not an insult to Cabrera. Trout is having an unbelievable season so far.

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