PRESSWIRE

Miguel Cabrera turns 29 years old today.

It’s hard to believe that he’s so young, given that he’s already had 8 seasons where he’s qualified for the batting title with an OPS+ of at least 129.

Check out who has the most such seasons through their Age 28 season:

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Mel Ott 10 1928 1937 19-28 Ind. Seasons
2 Ty Cobb 10 1906 1915 19-28 Ind. Seasons
3 Mickey Mantle 9 1952 1960 20-28 Ind. Seasons
4 Jimmie Foxx 9 1928 1936 20-28 Ind. Seasons
5 Rogers Hornsby 9 1916 1924 20-28 Ind. Seasons
6 Miguel Cabrera 8 2004 2011 21-28 Ind. Seasons
7 Albert Pujols 8 2001 2008 21-28 Ind. Seasons
8 Alex Rodriguez 8 1996 2004 20-28 Ind. Seasons
9 Ken Griffey 8 1990 1998 20-28 Ind. Seasons
10 Frank Robinson 8 1956 1964 20-28 Ind. Seasons
11 Hank Aaron 8 1955 1962 21-28 Ind. Seasons
12 Tris Speaker 8 1909 1916 21-28 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/18/2012.

These guys all started in the majors at a young age and not a single one of them flamed out early. In fact, as you probably noticed, every player on that list who is eligible for the Hall of Fame is in the Hall of Fame, and it would seem that Griffey, Pujols, and A-Rod are pretty much locks already.

I have no doubt that if we look at raw numbers, Cabrera will rank toward the top in homers and RBI thanks to the era in which he has played. It would be fun, though, to project how Cabrera will end up.

Here are the players to post an OPS+ of at least 140 in a minimum of 5000 PAs through their Age 28 season:

Rk OPS+ PA From To Age
1 Arky Vaughan 141 5744 1932 1940 20-28
2 Tris Speaker 168 5198 1907 1916 19-28
3 Alex Rodriguez 143 6385 1994 2004 18-28
4 Frank Robinson 149 5734 1956 1964 20-28
5 Albert Pujols 170 5382 2001 2008 21-28
6 Mel Ott 155 6646 1926 1937 17-28
7 Eddie Murray 143 5160 1977 1984 21-28
8 Joe Medwick 142 5323 1932 1940 20-28
9 Eddie Mathews 153 5809 1952 1960 20-28
10 Mickey Mantle 171 6051 1951 1960 19-28
11 Sherry Magee 140 5698 1904 1913 19-28
12 Rogers Hornsby 180 5410 1915 1924 19-28
13 Ken Griffey 150 5982 1989 1998 19-28
14 Jimmie Foxx 172 5934 1925 1936 17-28
15 Ty Cobb 183 5954 1905 1915 18-28
16 Miguel Cabrera 149 5777 2003 2011 20-28
17 Hank Aaron 155 5868 1954 1962 20-28
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/18/2012.

Nice company. Among the players on that list who are now retired, here’s what they did from their Age 29 season onward:

Rk OPS+ From To Age G PA
1 Arky Vaughan 119 1941 1948 29-36 512 1978
2 Tris Speaker 150 1917 1928 29-40 1575 6789
3 Frank Robinson 158 1965 1976 29-40 1462 6008
4 Mel Ott 154 1938 1947 29-38 1141 4702
5 Eddie Murray 119 1985 1997 29-41 1820 7657
6 Joe Medwick 118 1941 1948 29-36 757 2820
7 Eddie Mathews 129 1961 1968 29-36 1061 4291
8 Mickey Mantle 172 1961 1968 29-36 1002 3856
9 Sherry Magee 128 1914 1919 29-34 712 2847
10 Rogers Hornsby 169 1925 1937 29-41 997 4071
11 Ken Griffey 120 1999 2010 29-40 1296 5322
12 Jimmie Foxx 148 1937 1945 29-37 906 3740
13 Ty Cobb 156 1916 1928 29-41 1637 7123
14 Hank Aaron 155 1963 1976 29-42 1948 8073
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/18/2012.

First of all, WTF Hank Aaron. All he did after that great start was post a 155 OPS+ over 8,000 more plate appearances. Holy cow.

The weighted average performance of this group is an OPS+ of 144 over 4,948 additional plate appearances from their Age 29 season onward.

Miguel Cabrera had a 144 OPS+ in 2009, a season that produced 34 HR, 103 RBI, and 34 2B in 685 PAs.

Through his Age 28 season, his totals were 277 HR, 984 RBI, and 346 2B.

Using the above data to project his Age 29 onward, he’d have an additional 245 HR, 744 RBI, and 245 doubles.

That would project Cabrera’s final career totals to 522 HR, 1728 RBI, and 591 doubles. That would put him 18th career in homers, 22nd in RBI, and 16th in doubles. That seems about right.

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