Baseball Fates, please note (please?): I’m just playing around here! None of these things will actually come to pass; it’s just a way of expressing how hot he’s been so far.

Miguel Cabrera finished Thursday’s game #45 with a .391 BA, .701 slugging, 1.168 OPS, 14 HRs, 55 RBI, 39 Runs, 72 hits, 129 total bases, and an OPS+ well north of 200.

 

The projection multiplier from 45 to 162 is 3.6, so….

  • Heads up, Hack? Bourn’s gift to Miggy (plus Thursday’s daily dinger) put him on a pace of 202 198 RBI. [whoops!]
  • You, too, Babe? Cabrera’s on pace for 464 Total Bases. Ruth’s 1921 record is 457.
  • The last qualified season of .680+ slugging: Bonds, 2004. Same goes for OPS of 1.120 or better or OPS+ of 200 or more.
  • Last with 250+ hits: Ichiro, 2004, record 262 hits. Cabrera’s pace is 259 hits, which would be #2.
  • Last with .380+ BA: Gwynn, 1994. Last in a full season: Brett, 1980. But Brett also played just 117 games that year. The last to hit .380 with 500+ ABs: Carew, 1977.
  • Besides Ruth ’21, the only guy with 450+ Total Bases was Hornsby, 1922 (450 even). Last with 400+ Total Bases: Sosa, 2001.
  • Cabrera’s batting .391 with a 50-HR pace. No one ever has batted .380+ with 45+ HRs. The most HRs with a .380+ BA is 42 by Hornsby ’22 (.402 BA). The highest BA with 45+ HRs is .378, by Ruth in ’21 (59 HRs) and in ’24 (46 HRs); Ruth is also #3 (.376, 54 HRs in 1920), and tied for #4 (.373, 46 HRs in ’31) along with Gehrig (.373, 47 HRs in ’27).

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Cabrera over Detroit’s last 162 regular-season games (161 G for Cabrera):

  • .355 BA, 1.092 OPS, 50 HRs, 159 RBI, 125 Runs, 222 Hits, 419 Total Bases, 97 strikeouts.

Of the twenty-five 50-HR seasons since 1990, only Bonds, Belle and Luis Gonzalez did it with less than 100 Ks.

No Tiger has ever reached 400 Total Bases; Greenberg holds their top 4 marks, from 397 to 380.

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With runners in scoring position, Cabrera is 31 for 59, with 7 HRs, 44 RBI, 12 walks, 4 strikeouts and 2 GDPs, .525 BA, .932 SLG, OPS well over 1.500. The searchable records (since 1945) for seasons of at least 150 PAs with RISP:

  • BA: .469, Brett, 1980 (61 for 130)
  • SLG: .944, Bonds, 2001 and 2004; he also has the #3 mark of .882 in ’02. No more than 89 ABs in those years, but that wasn’t his fault; he had more walks than ABs for those years combined in RISP spots.
  • OPS: 1.698, Bonds, 2004 (he’s also #2 and #3, both over 1.550, in 2001-02).

Using a 100-AB floor instead, we get:

  • SLG: .907, Mantle, 1961 (18 HRs in 107 ABs).
  • OPS: 1.443, Mantle, 1956.

The searchable record for HRs with RISP is 20, by McGwire (1998) and Jim Gentile (1961). The record for RBI is 125 in 1999 by … see Postscript below.

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Age-30 records, since 1901 (BA-qualified):

  • BA: .393, Harry Heilmann. Cabrera’s .391 would be 2nd.
  • SLG: .723, Hack Wilson. Cabrera’s .701 would be 4th.
  • OPS: 1.177, Hack Wilson. Cabrera’s 1.168 would be 3rd.
  • OPS+: 209, Ty Cobb. Cabrera’s 201 would be 2nd.

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Postscript:

I’m thinking of a right-handed masher who, in 2008, hit 37 HRs with over 120 RBI and just over 330 total bases, ending that season with a new team and league than he’d been with the year before. He was a regular from a young age and a consistently potent hitter. He averaged a 141 OPS+ in several seasons through age 26, without reaching 160 in any year. At 27, he exploded with a league-best OPS+ in the 170s and his first RBI title. His OPS+ was over 160 each year from age 27-30, averaging 176. He batted over .340 twice, and hit over .330 for the period.

These statements all fit both Miguel Cabrera and Manny Ramirez.

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