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Is Miguel Cabrera the Greatest Hitter Ever?

The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera celebrates after hitting his 3,000th hit during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in the first game of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Detroit. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/TNS)

By Justus Clark

As Miguel Cabrera just hit the feat of 3,000 hits, I think it’s time to start recognizing the amazing career that he has had throughout the 20 seasons he has played in Major League Baseball (MLB). 

Let’s take a look at his many accomplishments: two-time AL MVP, World Series champion, 11-time all star, seven-time Silver Slugger award, four-time AL batting champion, two-time AL home run leader, two-time AL RBI leader, two-time AL Hank Aaron award, 500-plus home runs, 3,002 hits, 1800-plus RBI’s, 599 doubles, 1500-plus runs scored, career batting average of .310, and a Triple Crown in 2012 (Led the MLB in batting average, home runs, and RBI’s), which was the first time it had been done in 45 years.

Cabrera is undoubtedly one of the greatest of our generation, if not the greatest, and now that he has surpassed 3,000 hits, he joins elite company with some of the games all time greats. “Miggy” joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to ever have 3,000-plus hits and 500-plus home runs in their career. He is also one double away from having 600 doubles, which will make him only the third player ever (Aaron and Pujols) to have 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and 600 doubles. He also is the third player (Aaron and Mays) with 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and have a batting average over .300 for a career, the second player (Stan Musial) with 3,000 hits, multiple MVP’s, multiple batting titles, and a World Series win. Out of all of those all time greats that were just named, he is the only one to win a Triple Crown, which quite possibly could be the hardest thing to do in baseball.

Two names that come to mind when we have this conversation are Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols. Let’s compare the averages of Cabrera’s first 11 full seasons to Pujols:

Cabrera: .323avg, 34 HR, 119 RBI, in 157 G

Pujols: .328avg, 40 HR, 121 RBI, in 155 G

They are almost identical. In seven of those 11 seasons, Cabrera played in Comerica Park, which is one of the biggest in the MLB. Therefore if he played in pretty much any other stadium, his numbers would likely be even higher. 

When we compare Cabrera’s stats to Hank Aaron’s before they turned 32, they look nearly the same. 

Aaron: .320avg, 398 HR, 1,305 RBI

Cabrera: .321avg, 392 HR, 1,378 RBI

Aaron is regarded as one of the greatest of all time and for Miggy’s stats to be nearly the same is very impressive.

I know there are a lot of numbers being thrown at you but these are just the facts. Numbers don’t lie. The groups that he is in and the names he is associated with is all the proof any baseball fan should need. Just imagine if he played in a smaller ballpark like Yankee Stadium for example, that would boost his numbers even more. Also since after the 2016 season, Miggy has struggled with some injuries which also contributes to why his numbers may be a little bit lower than what he was on pace for in his career. 

Despite all the obstacles that he has faced, whether it’s the size of the stadium or injuries, Cabrera has had one of the most storied careers of anyone to ever play this game. To answer the question, “Is Miguel Cabrera the greatest hitter ever?” Well, whether you think Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, or anybody else is the greatest hitter of all time, Miguel Cabrera definitely deserves to be in the conversation.

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