Earlier today, Fangraphs’ resident GIF expert posted this beauty that demonstrates Cabrera’s ability to hit for power no matter where a pitch is located. And a large number of other people whose job it is to say things about baseball have flooded the internet with statistics and observations about Cabrera’s torrid start.
I’m not going to rehash everything because most of you can read and it’s pretty easy to call up numbers with a quick Google search. But I would like to point a few things out about Miguel Cabrera with respect to his peers at this moment.
First, Cabrera leads MLB in WAR (3.2) by 0.3 over Evan Longoria (2.9), but Miguel Cabrera is currently rated as the 8th worst defensive player who qualifies by Fangraphs. In other words, Cabrera is hitting so much better than everyone else that he is still the most valuable player even though he is among the worst glovemen going. Let’s look at it:
And now, just for reference:
Miguel Cabrera has been baesball’s most valuable player so far despite being one of it’s worst defenders. That’s how much better he is than everyone else at the plate. You can see from the first graph that the quality of your offense and the quality of your defense aren’t that strongly related (on average a 1 unit increase in wRC+ decreases your defensive score by .007, but the results aren’t statistically significant and the R squared hardly registers.). But on the other hand, Fld and WAR are related (on average, a one unit increase in Fld will increase your WAR by .08 with the results being statistically significant and the R squared at least somewhat reasonable).
In other words, defense and hitting aren’t really related, but defense and WAR are (obviously). That rule just doesn’t apply to Cabrera because he’s outhitting everyone by so much.
He’s out there by himself. If you’d rather break it down by AVG, OBP, and SLG it’s just as impressive.
Miguel Cabrera, through 45 games, is simply outhitting everyone. This is the peak of one of the best hitters we’ve seen in our lifetimes, so enjoy it.