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Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:15 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 10:55 am
 

By C. Trent Rosecrans

You could argue we're living in the golden age of first basemen. Of the last 12 MVPs, five have gone to first baseman, and four different ones (Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau), to boot. And that list doesn't even include Prince Fielder or either of the two first basemen we're looking at today -- Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and Boston's Adrian Gonzalez.

Both slugging first basemen are younger than 30 (at least until May, when Gonzalez hits the big 3-0) and both rose to the majors by the time they were 22, although Gonzalez didn't become a star until he was traded to San Diego in 2006, while Cabrera came up as a third baseman and outfielder and got MVP votes as a 20-year-old rookie. Now, though, both are among the game's best and expected to pick up an MVP any time now.

The case for Cabrera

This isn't too tough to make -- Cabrera won the American League batting title with a .344 average and also had the league's best on-base percentage (.448) for the second consecutive season. He also hit 30 homers and led the majors with 48 doubles. He has a career OPS+ of 149 and had a 181 OPS+ last season, better even than his league-leading 178 in 2010. Here's a guy who is 33 homers from 300 and has a lifetime slash line of .317/.395/.555. The guy's bat is just special.

The case for Gonzalez

Would You Rather Have
A lot was expected of Gonzalez in his first season in Boston and it says something about his ability if his .338/.410/.548 season in his first year in a new league and in the toughest division in baseball was seen as something of a disappointment (but short of an MVP and World Series MVP, nothing was going to reach the lofty expectations of Red Sox fans coming into 2011). Gonzalez's 27 homers was his lowest total since 2006, his first full season in the big leagues, but he still led baseball with 213 hits and his 45 doubles ranked sixth in the league.

Not only is Gonzalez one of the best offensive players in the game, he's won four consecutive Gold Gloves, winning the award in both leagues.

As for the contract status, both players are more than fairly compensated, with Cabrera due to make $86 million over the next four seasons and Gonzalez signed through the 2018 season for a cool $154 million.

Our call

While Gonzalez is a very good player, Cabrera has the chance to be an all-time great. Gonzalez has better defense, but we're talking first base here, not shortstop. There would be some worry about Cabrera's off-the-field problems, but he's bounced back from those and he's never played less than 150 games since becoming a regular as a 21-year-old in 2004. He's the choice, no matter if he's a first baseman or a DH, because his bat is just that good.

Fan Vote: Would you rather have Cabrera or Gonzalez on your favorite team?



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Comments

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 5:48 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Oh look! Another poster that agrees with me and thinks tripleight is a moron.

Whats next? An Albert Pujols and David Freese comparison? bwahahaha. Do us all a favor and move along buddy.



Since: Nov 10, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:51 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

is this a joke? Miguel all day everyday if this guy played in the Sox lineup he would win MVP every single year. Miguel is the best pure hitter in baseball.



Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

He won't win any 100 meter dashes
The Tigers don't pay him to run...they pay him to trot Wink



Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:47 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Miggy is the best hitter in baseball - Period. He won't win any 100 meter dashes but nobody swings the bat better than he does.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:24 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Secondly, you chose to ignore the obvious similarities in order to make your own point. Ignoring facts doesnt make them any less factual. I never once said that Andruw Jones was the same caliber of hitter that Miggy is. I said both started young, both played as babies in the playoffs, both had HOF-quality career projections, both got fat contracts, both got horrible on D. Just because one played CF and one played 1B/3B/OF doesnt make them totally different, nor do the gaps in their stats.
The only similarities between Jones and Cabrera is that they both play baseball and started young.  Other than that -- there is no other comparisons between the two.  Cabrera was NEVER known for his defense.  Cabrera's number have progressively become better since signing his "fat contract".  Cabrera hits for average and power.  Cabrera is at the top of the MLB in slugging % and OBP year after year.  Cabrera has cut his strikeouts down year after year.

Explain to me again how these two are comparible??? 



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:07 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Detr0ittigs1 - uh, how is this inaccurate? Let's take a look at the similarities, shall we?


Jones:
Young superstar that got his start playing for a playoff team at a young age
Put up huge numbers throughout his 20s and had everyone thinking "HOF"
Got a big contract, lost discipline, and start sucking
Fell short of expectations by getting fat, slow, and a complete defensive liability while losing bat-speed
Is now a DH without a chance at the HOF


Miggy:
Young superstar that got his start playing for a playoff team at a young age
Put up huge numbers throughout his 20s and had everyone thinking "HOF"
Got a big contract, lost discipline, and became an alcoholic who bailed on his team during a one-game playoff
Is getting fat, slow, and is a complete defensive liability
Is now a DH with still a chance at the HOF

Andruw Jones tailed off quite a bit faster than did Cabrera and frankly I think/hope that Miggy doesnt ruin his HOF chances the way Jones did. I think Miggy still has a good shot at the HOF if he keeps his head right, but that's a big IF. I actually like both players - no Detroit bias here, you troll - but if Cabrera reverts back to his 2009/2010 days of stupidity, he's gonna blow his chance just like Andruw did.


Now get off the public computer my tax dollars are paying for you to use, Tiger fan.   
tripleeight,

your post might be one of the most ignorant, unintelligent posts ever written on these boards.  just the fact you took the time to type all that out and actually believe what you wrote as truth, tells everyone on this board how dumb you really are.

just a few things i figured i'd point out to you:

he joined the tigers in 2008 and signed a huge contract extension.  since then, he has led the league in homeruns, led the league in RBI's AND led the league last year in BA.  so please explain to me how he lost discipline and his stats have dropped???

you say he has put up huge numbers thru his 20's -- this is true -- what is also true, he hasn't even hit his prime for baseball players and has actually improved on every season he has been with the Tigers.  his batting average has went up every year since joining the tigers.  his strikeouts have went down every year.  his walks have went up every year.  his OBP has went up every year.

you say cabrera has become fat, slow and is a defensive liability -- yet, in 4 seasons at 1st base, he has a .992 fielding %.  he is far from a gold glove 1B, but it is not like he is Prince Fielder at 1B.  the funniest part is the fat and slow comment -- cabrera has come into come each year with the Tigers in better shape than the year before.  they did a write up about Cabrera's offseason workouts last year -- he worked out prior to last season with Avila and Orodonez.  they not only worked out 3 hours a day on strength and agility 6 days a week -- Cabrera rode his bike to and from the workouts -- 15 miles each way.  there is a reason he is one of the few guys in the MLB that can hit for power, not only to the pull field, but to RF as well.

and the year cabrera supposedly "bailed on his team in one game playoff" -- the guy that bailed on the team went 2 for 5 with a double and a 2 run homerun in the one game playoff.  YEAH -- he really bailed on the team.  LMAO. 

just the fact you try to compare of the best all around hitters in baseball to andruw jones tells us how little you know about baseball.  Jones has hit .300 exactly once, his next best year is .277.  jones career high OBP for a year is .366 -- Cabrera has a CAREER OBP of .395 (which is 60 points higher than jones)  Cabrera has almost 1600 hits, about 270 less than Jones, who has played 8 more years.  one last stat for you -- Cabrera's CAREER slugging % is .555 -- Andruw Jones had ONE season with a slugging % near that (he hit 51 homeruns)

the two players couldn't be any more different.  so do everyone here a favor and think before you make a post. 



Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Oh and I love your Miguel Cabrera avatar. It completely hides your bias, champ Wink



Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

First off, Detroittigs, chill with your little man-crush on Knightfan. If you're going to love on him, at least give him your credit card number first. Secondly, you chose to ignore the obvious similarities in order to make your own point. Ignoring facts doesnt make them any less factual. I never once said that Andruw Jones was the same caliber of hitter that Miggy is. I said both started young, both played as babies in the playoffs, both had HOF-quality career projections, both got fat contracts, both got horrible on D. Just because one played CF and one played 1B/3B/OF doesnt make them totally different, nor do the gaps in their stats. People compare Dale Murphy to Don Mattingly and Mattingly to Kirby Puckett all the time in terms of stats and overall value. This isnt much different.

Lastly, this isn't the Detroit Tigers fanpage, you troll. Now after you're done giggling like a moron and defending your precious Tigers at all costs, do something productive...like getting me a coffee.

 



Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Detr0ittigs1 - uh, how is this inaccurate?

tripleight - uh, take a look below at the comment by knightfan. I think he covered everything.   

Let's take a look at the similarities, shall we?

LOL they are few and far in between. Some of your similarities you bring up don't even matter.

"They both played for a playoff team at a young age".

Who cares?? If this made players similar half the players in the league are similar. 

 All your other similarities of people thinking they are both HOF players in their 20s and they got a big contract and starting sucking blah blah blah. It doesn't matter. The stats matter. I notice you don't use any in your post hahaha. I wonder why??

Here are some..kind of repeating what that smart fellow knightfan was saying. I just have to do it.

   Miggy:
  In his first 8 full seasons in the MLB...
   - He has never batted below .290. In six of those seasons he has batted .344, .328, .324, .323, .320, .339
   - He has hit at least 30 HR and had 100 RBI in every season except 2004.
   - His lowest OBP was .349 in 2008
   - His highest OBP was .448. Last year. So much for losing discipline and becoming a fat worthless player huh??

Andruw Jones:
  In his first 8 full seasons in the MLB...
   - He has had a batting average above .290, actually .280, ONCE! 
   - He hit 30 HR and had 100 RBI in only 3 seasons.
   - His highest OBP was .366
   
   I am not a troll. Just a way more intelligent baseball fan than some guy who actually thinks Miggy and Andruw Jones are comparable. I am still laughing at this.  



Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:00 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Hahahaha. That is funny comparing Andrew Jones to Miggy. I don't see any similarities at all except for your first point.

Andrew Jones hit over .277 exactly once in his career. Miguel cabrera has hit at least .320 in 6 of the past 7 years. Andrew Jones' best season for OBP is the same as Miggy's worst season (his first full season in the majors). Cabrera has a career .555 slugging percentage. Andrew Jones has 1 season with a slugging percentage that high when he hit 51 homers and was no doubt juiced up. Literally every one of Cabrera's last 7 seasons he has a higher OPS than Jones' career best season (in fact you could add 20 or so points to Jones' numbers and that would still be the case). The huge numbers you imagined Jones having were in your mind. Jones was a stud defensively and an outfielder. Cabrera is poor defensively and a 1B. Cabrera has always been poor defensively and if you compare his dWAR numbers to those early in his career he has actually improved. Offensively there is no comparison. They both got a big contract. Miggy has gone on to be the top hitter in baseball with OPSs in the 1.03 to 1.04 range the last couple seasons and a career triple crown while Jones has lost some power (likely due to steroid testing), speed, and never had a good average anyways.

The last point you make isn't even correct as Cabrera is not a DH.


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