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
gmen 2012
Since: Jan 20, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:08 am
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Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:58 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Cabrera is the Best player in MLB period (minus pitchers). Remember he puts up those numbers in a pitchers ballpark to. 



Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:46 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Can you say Miggy? And if you didn't, then you need a lobotomy. Agonz a great player, but he doesn't even come close to Miggy.


gmen 2012
Since: Jan 20, 2012
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

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gmen 2012
Since: Jan 20, 2012
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:34 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:29 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

hands down adrain...better hitters park gonna be his second year there EXTREMLY short porch in right field and now no victor give me gonzo



Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:35 pm
 

Gonzalez

It isn't an easy call to make, and I'm a Michigan resident and Tigers fan.  Cabrera's behavior off the field is a concern.  He is a bit of a powderkeg. It does trickle onto the field as well.  When Galarraga didn't get the final out of his perfect game, Cabrera was really letting Jim Joyce have it, and was barely paying attention to the game.  Obviously, EVERYONE was upset about that, but he was really carrying on.  I was afraid he was going to attack the ump for a moment.  Nevermind the fact that if he hadn't have ranged so far away from first, the play would have been a lot easier for the 2B to make.  He does that a lot, by the way.  Leyland should just draw a line in the dirt and tell him to not cross it.

Anyway, they are both GREAT hitters.  I've never seen anyone hit the ball as hard as Cabrera.  Infielders have no time to react, and I have seen an outfielder let the ball get by just because he wasn't expecting the ball to be traveling so quickly.  That said, I'll take the higher character guy, even if it means sacrificing a bit at the plate. Adrian Gonzalez is the guy I'd rather have on my baseball team.



Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:26 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

 Miggy is Andruw Jones. 

 BWAHAHAHAHAHA. tripleight you are no longer allowed to comment on baseball related stories on this site anymore.

Signed,
CBS SPORTS MEMBERS  




Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:14 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Gonzo is the better choice. Miggy is spectacular, but between his weight issues, defensive liability, and problematic behavior, I'd take Gonzo. Miggy is Andruw Jones. Gonzo is...well...there's nobody else quite like him right now. He's another Andres Galarraga / Jeff Bagwell type that provides stability, leadership, professionalism, and charisma to an organization. Plus he can flat-out rake.




Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:05 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cabrera or Gonzalez?

Uhhh, Cabrera only has 1 World Series ring and hasn't been to the WS outside of that 2003 Marlins team.


Still though, i'm going with Cabrera, and i'm a Red Sox fan.


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