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Cabrera in 2013
|Detroit Tigers – No. 24|
|First baseman/Third Baseman|
|Born: April 18, 1983 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|June 20, 2003 for the Florida Marlins|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||1,260|
|Career highlights and awards|
Cabrera in 2013
|Detroit Tigers – No. 24|
|First baseman/Third Baseman|
|Born: April 18, 1983 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|June 20, 2003 for the Florida Marlins|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||1,260|
|Career highlights and awards|
José Miguel Cabrera Torres (born April 18, 1983), commonly known as Miguel Cabrera and nicknamed "Miggy", is a Venezuelan professional baseball first baseman with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He bats and throws right-handed. He formally played left field, right field and for most of his career third base.Cabrera is an eight-time All-Star, having been selected to both the National League and American League All-Star Teams. Cabrera has started at least 100 games at first base, third base, left field and right field. He progressed through the Florida Marlins minor league system, before being called up from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats in June 2003. Cabrera went on to help the Marlins win the World Series that year as their clean-up hitter.
Cabrera is widely regarded to be one of the best pure hitters in baseball, hitting at a high average with power to all fields. He has posted at least 30 home runs in nine different seasons with a career batting average of .321. Cabrera has also driven in over 100 runs in each of the last ten seasons, every season aside from his rookie campaign when he played in only 87 games. He has been an MVP caliber player since entering the majors at just 20 years old, having received MVP votes in each of his ten major league seasons, and placing in the top five in six of those seasons including each of the last four.
In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown in batting. Cabrera led the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 runs batted in. Cabrera was voted the 2012 AL MVP following the season.
In 2013, Cabrera didn't repeat his Triple Crown, but he did improve on most of his statistics from the previous year, with 44 home runs, 137 runs batted in, a career best .348 average and league leading 1.078 OPS. Cabrera was voted the 2013 AL MVP for the second consecutive season.
He began his professional career in 2000 as a shortstop in the Gulf Coast League (GCL). After batting .260 with 10 doubles, two triples and two home runs through 57 games for the GCL Marlins, Cabrera was promoted to Class-A ball where he finished the final eight games batting .250 with 6 RBIs for the New York–Penn League (NYPL) Blue Sox in Utica, New York.
Heading into 2001, the Marlins bumped Cabrera up to the Low Class-A Kane County Cougars where he teamed up with current Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. He earned his way into the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend in Seattle, along with Gonzalez. He ended the year batting .268 with 30 extra-base hits, 66 RBIs, and distinguished himself as having the strongest arm in the Midwest League.
Entering the following season, Cabrera was once again promoted, this time to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the High Class-A Florida State League. At the request of then Marlins coach, Ozzie Guillén, Cabrera made the transition from shortstop to third base. By July, his average was locked in at .277, and he led his team with 45 RBIs earning himself a second trip to the Future's game; this time picking up two singles. He finished the season batting .278 with 43 doubles and 75 RBIs. Up to this point, he hit just nine homers in his 489 at-bats.
To begin the 2003 season, Cabrera earned another promotion to the Double-A Carolina Mudcats. There he teamed up with Dontrelle Willis, the left-handed fireballer with whom he would later join in the majors. In his fourth professional season, Miguel was shredding the competition. In April, he hit .402, and by June his average stood at .365 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs before being called up to the majors.
Cabrera made his major league debut on June 20, 2003, at 20 years old; Edgar Rentería, at 19 years old, was the only Marlins player to make his debut at a younger age. Cabrera hit a walk-off home run in his first major league game, following Billy Parker in 1972 and Josh Bard in 2002 as the third player since 1900 to hit a game-winning home run in his big-league debut.
Cabrera became the Marlins cleanup batter. Cabrera's postseason play helped propel Florida to a World Series championship over the New York Yankees and also landed him on the cover of ESPN The Magazine during the offseason.
In game 4 of the 2003 World Series against the Yankees, Cabrera faced Roger Clemens for the first time in his career. In the first inning, Clemens threw a 92-mph fastball in the vicinity of Cabrera's chin causing Cabrera to turn and stare at Clemens. Later in the at bat, Cabrera smashed a pitch to deep right field for a two-run home run. The home run would give the Marlins an early 2–0 lead in route to a 4–3 Marlins victory that evened the series at two games apiece. Cabrera and the Marlins would go on to win the 2003 World Series in 6 games.
In his first season Cabrera batted .268 (84-for-314), with 12 home runs, 62 RBIs, 39 runs, 21 doubles, and three triples in 87 games played and received NL Rookie of the Month honors for both July and September.
In 2004, he batted .294 with 33 home runs, 112 RBIs, 101 runs, 177 hits, a .366 on-base percentage, a .512 slugging percentage from the third and fourth spots in the order, while playing in 160 games and earning his first All-Star appearance.
Cabrera spent the entire 2004 season playing in the outfield and had 13 outfield assists. In 284 total fielding chances, he committed nine errors (tied for the most among NL outfielders) and made 262 putouts.
In 2005 he was second in the National League in hits with 198, and batted .323 with 33 home runs, 43 doubles, two triples, and 116 RBIs. He was voted to his second consecutive All-Star Game along with teammates Paul Lo Duca and Dontrelle Willis, and won his first Silver Slugger award. His 33 home runs made him the youngest player in Major League Baseball history with back-to-back 30 homer seasons, at 22 years, 143 days. Albert Pujols did it at 22 years, 223 days. Cabrera also became the first Marlin in history to hit at least 30 home runs and drive in at least 100 runs in back-to-back seasons.
With help from teammates Josh Willingham and Dan Uggla hitting behind and ahead of him respectively, Cabrera finished the year with a .339 batting average, 26 home runs and 114 RBIs. He was selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game and won his second Silver Slugger Award.
On June 22, 2006, pitcher Todd Williams let the first pitch of an attempted intentional walk get a too close to the plate and Cabrera reached out and singled it to right center field. The hit occurred during 10th inning, scoring the winning run to give the Marlins a 6–5 lead over the Baltimore Orioles.
During a July 9 7–6 road loss to the New York Mets, Cabrera became involved in an altercation with teammate Scott Olsen. With the Marlins trailing 2–0, Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca hit a hard grounder that glanced off Cabrera's glove and rolled into left field, allowing a run to score as Lo Duca raced to second with a double. As they came off the field, Olsen could be seen shouting something at Cabrera. A moment later, television cameras showed Cabrera in the crowded dugout reaching past teammates to poke his finger at Olsen as the pitcher walked past him. Olsen tried to jab back at Cabrera, who charged Olsen and tried to kick the pitcher before both players were quickly separated by teammates.
Cabrera was voted to represent the National League All-Stars for the 3rd time in his career and made his first appearance in the Home Run Derby. Cabrera finished in third place with 15 home runs in the event.
Cabrera battled the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Freddy Sanchez for the National League batting crown until the last day of the regular season. Marlins manager Joe Girardi decided to bat Cabrera leadoff for the final game of the season to give him more chances to get a hit for the crown. He ended up finishing second to Sanchez. Cabrera also finished the 2006 campaign with a .568 slugging percentage and a .430 on-base percentage.
On February 17, 2007, Cabrera became the first player of the 2007 offseason to win his arbitration hearing, obtaining a one-year contract worth $7.4 million.
Cabrera made his fourth consecutive All-Star game. He was initially scheduled to participate in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star weekend, but an injured left shoulder, suffered a few days before the All-Star break, forced him out of the derby and limited him in the All-Star game to a pinch hit at-bat against Dan Haren in which he struck out.
On September 4, 2007, Cabrera recorded his 500th RBI as a major leaguer, making him the third-youngest player to accumulate 500 RBIs. Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Ted Williams were the only players to precede him in this feat.
On September 15, 2007, in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, Cabrera drove in at least 100 runs for the fourth consecutive year. His 100th RBI came in the first inning against Ubaldo Jiménez. Five innings later, Cabrera added four more RBIs when he hit a ball 438 feet (134 m) into the center field trees for his first career grand slam. He joined David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero as the only players to reach the 100-RBI plateau in each of the four previous seasons.
In 2007, Cabrera won the NL Player of the Week twice (April 1–8 and June 4–10). He also passed former Marlins Gary Sheffield and Derrek Lee for second on the franchise home run list. He moved into third in all-time franchise RBIs and first in batting average. Cabrera ended the season with career highs in both home runs and runs batted in.
On December 5, 2007, the Marlins traded Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for pitchers Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Burke Badenhop, outfielder Cameron Maybin, and catcher Mike Rabelo.
On March 22, 2008, Cabrera reached an agreement with the Tigers on an eight-year, $152.3 million contract extension. At the time, the deal was the fourth-largest in baseball history, behind those signed by Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Manny Ramirez. The deal was also the largest in Tigers history at the time, surpassing the five-year, $75 million contract signed by Magglio Ordóñez in 2005 (it was later surpassed in 2012 when Prince Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million deal) Cabrera earned $11.3 million in 2008, and will receive an average of $20 million per year through 2015.
Cabrera made his Tigers debut on March 31, 2008, playing third base in a home game against the Kansas City Royals. In his third at-bat, he hit a solo home run off Royals pitcher Gil Meche. He finished the game 1-for-5 with two strikeouts, and the Tigers lost 5–4 in 11 innings.
On April 22, manager Jim Leyland announced that Cabrera would be moving to first base, with Carlos Guillén becoming the starting third basemen. Cabrera had already made seven appearances at first, the first appearances at the position of his career.
Cabrera finished the 2008 season with a career-high 37 home runs, which led the American League. He became the youngest AL home run champion since Troy Glaus in 2000. He also established a new career high in RBIs (127). He became one of only six players who have driven in at least 100 runs in each of the past five seasons, joining Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Bobby Abreu and Mark Teixeira.
On Opening Day, Cabrera hit a grand slam in left-center that traveled better than 420 feet (130 m) at Comerica Park to give the Detroit Tigers a 15–2 victory over the Texas Rangers. Cabrera finished the game 4-for-6 with six RBIs.
On August 23, 2009, Cabrera hit his 200th career home run in his 1,000th career game against the Oakland A's. He became only the fourth Venezuelan player to ever reach that plateau.
Cabrera posted a .324 batting average, which was fourth in the AL. He also tied his career-high in hits with 198, which was also fourth among the AL. He also had yet another 100-plus RBI season making it the sixth straight year for him to reach the 100 RBI mark.
On May 28 in a game against the Oakland Athletics in Detroit, Cabrera hit three home runs in a 5–4 Tigers loss. Two of the home runs were against starter Ben Sheets, and one against closer Andrew Bailey. It was the first three home run game in Cabrera's career, and came in his first game returning to the team after his daughter's birth.
Cabrera was named an AL All-Star for the first time since joining the American League, and the fifth time in his eight-year career. He was chosen to be the starter in place of Minnesota Twins star Justin Morneau who was suffering a concussion. Cabrera also participated in the Home Run Derby, finishing fourth in the event with 12 home runs.
On September 26 in a game against the Cleveland Indians Cabrera suffered a high ankle sprain while getting back to first base on a pick-off attempt. He initially tried to play, but the Tigers decided to shut him down for the remainder of the season. He ended his 2010 season with a .328 batting average, a career-high 38 home runs and 126 RBIs. The lack of a strong #5 hitter to follow Cabrera in the Tigers lineup also resulted in him drawing a career-high 89 walks, 32 of which were intentional. On defense, he led all AL first basemen in errors, with 13.
Cabrera was named to his second AL All-Star team as a reserve. It was his sixth All-Star Game appearance overall. On July 15, 2011, the first game after the All-Star break, Cabrera collected his 1500th career hit in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Cabrera hit for a .344 average, winning the AL batting title, while also leading the AL in on-base percentage (.448) and doubles (48). He had his eighth straight 100-RBIs season (105) and fifth straight 30-HR season (30). He also reached a career-high in walks with 108. On defense, Cabrera led all AL first basemen in errors, with 13.
Cabrera hit .429 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in September 2011, propelling the Tigers into the playoffs and eventually the American League Championship Series. In the first five games of the ALCS, Cabrera hit .565 OBP, as well as a home run and four doubles, one of them off of the third base bag.
Through 2011, he had the 6th-best career batting average of all active players (.317), and seventh-best slugging percentage (.555) and OPS (.950).
In 2012, after the signing of first baseman Prince Fielder, the Tigers announced Cabrera would move back to third base. In a pre-season game with the Philadelphia Phillies (Hunter Pence batting), Cabrera was struck by a ground ball below the right eye, which broke a bone. Despite this, after seeing the team's orbital surgeon, Dr. Srinivas Iyengar, Cabrera believed he would be ready for opening day on April 5. He was, and was in the starting lineup on Opening Day.
On April 7, he and new teammate Prince Fielder each hit two home runs against the Red Sox, including back-to-back ones in the fifth inning. That week, from April 4–8, Cabrera was named AL Player of the Week, his ninth time achieving that honor, five of them being with Detroit. Cabrera hit 5–11 in three games over that span with three home runs and eight RBIs. On April 27, Cabrera collected his 1,000th RBI in a game against the Yankees. He is one of the few players in league history to reach this plateau before their 30th birthday, joining Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols and Lou Gehrig.
Cabrera was named to the American League All-Star team as a reserve, as Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré was voted as a starter. This marked Cabrera's third consecutive All-Star appearance as a member of the Tigers, and seventh appearance overall. On July 22, he hit his 300th career home run (off White Sox starter Philip Humber). This made Miguel just the second Venezuelan-born player to reach this milestone, joining Andrés Galarraga who hit 399.
On August 15, Cabrera became the first player in Detroit Tigers history to hit 30 home runs in five consecutive seasons passing Hank Greenberg (1937–40) and Cecil Fielder (1990–93) who each had four consecutive 30 home run seasons. This also marked the eighth time in the last nine seasons overall that Cabrera has reached the 30 home run mark.
Cabrera was voted the American League Player of the Month for August. Cabrera batted .357 with six doubles, eight home runs, 24 RBIs, 19 runs scored and 12 walks in 26 games. This was the second time that Cabrera was named player of the month for the Tigers as he joined Alan Trammell as the only Tigers to win the award more than once. Cabrera won the Triple Crown, finishing the season with an AL-leading 44 home runs, 139 RBIs, and .330 batting average. He became the first batter to win a Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera became the first player to win it without a tie in any of the three categories since Frank Robinson in 1966. He is the first Latin American player and the first third baseman to win a Triple Crown. Cabrera also had his first career 200-hit season, having hit safely 205 times. He was named The Sporting News Player of the Year. On October 27, 2012 he was awarded the AL Hank Aaron Award. Cabrera also led the AL with slugging (.606), OPS (.999), total bases (377), and double plays committed (28).
In Game 4 of the 2012 World Series, Cabrera hit his first World Series home run since his rookie year with the Marlins in 2003, putting Detroit on the board for the first time in 2 games. During the bottom of the 10th inning, Cabrera was the final out of the World Series as he struck out looking, completing the San Francisco Giants' sweep of the Tigers.
On November 15, Cabrera was named the AL's Most Valuable Player over Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, receiving 22 out of 28 first place votes and 362 points from a panel of Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline was quoted in 2013 as saying that Cabrera's performance was "unbelievable," and that Cabrera was already qualified for Cooperstown himself." Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports called Cabrera "the greatest player in the game of baseball." Barry Bonds agreed with Nightengale's analysis, adding ""He's the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best.'"
Cabrera has continued a torrid pace into the 2013 season, being named American League Player of the Month for May. Cabrera batted .379 (44-for-116) with nine doubles, 12 home runs, 33 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 15 walks in 28 games to claim his third career Player of the Month Award. Cabrera previously won top player honors in July 2008 and August 2012. The week of August 5–11, Cabrera was named the American League Co-Player of the Week, with fellow Tigers teammate Austin Jackson. Cabrera batted .429 (12-for-28) with two doubles, four home runs, 11 RBIs and seven runs scored over seven games, to win his 10th career player of the week award.
As of the 2013 All-Star break, Miguel was hitting .365 with 30 home runs and a league-leading 95 RBIs, considerably better than his 2012 Triple Crown season at the same point. Cabrera became the first player in MLB history to have at least 30 home runs and 90 RBIs before the All-Star break. Cabrera was voted in as the starter at third base for the first time in the fan balloting for the 2013 Major League All-Star Game.
On August 18, Cabrera hit his 40th home run of the season in a game against the Kansas City Royals, joining Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx as the only MLB players in history to have at least 40 home runs, 120 RBIs and a batting average of .350 or higher through 116 games. Cabrera also became the third Tigers player in history to hit 40 or more home runs in consecutive seasons, joining Hank Greenberg (1937–38) and Cecil Fielder (1990–91).
Cabrera was named the American League Player of the Month for August. Cabrera batted .356 (36-for-101) with five doubles, 11 home runs, 31 RBIs, 17 runs scored and 13 walks in 27 games to claim his fourth career Player of the Month Award and his second of the 2013 season, after claiming the award in the month of June.
Cabrera finished the regular season with a .348 batting average, and won his third straight AL batting title. Cabrera became the first Tiger to win three consecutive batting titles since Ty Cobb (1917–1919), and the first American Leaguer to win at least three straight since Wade Boggs (1985–88). He also led the AL in on-base percentage (.442) and slugging percentage (.636), was second in the league in home runs (44), RBIs (137) and runs scored (103), and was third in walks (90).
On October 24, Cabrera was honored with his second consecutive Sporting News MLB Player of the Year Award. Miguel is only the fourth player in history to win this award in back-to-back seasons, joining Ted Williams (1941–42), Joe Morgan (1975–76) and Albert Pujols (2008–09).
Following the All-Star Break, Cabrera was marred by injuries including a groin strain that limited his playing time later in the season. On October 29, 2013, Cabrera underwent groin surgery to remove a sports hernia.
On November 14, Cabrera won his second consecutive American League MVP Award, receiving 23 out of 30 first place votes and 385 points. Cabrera became the first American League player to win back-to-back MVP awards since Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox (1993–1994). He is only the third Tiger player to win the MVP award more than once, joining Hank Greenberg (1935, 1940) and Hal Newhouser (1944–45).
Cabrera is very active in the community, and in 2012 he began The Miguel Cabrera Foundation to help a variety of children's funds. He also uses his foundation to encourage young kids to play baseball and softball. In 2012 and 2013, Cabrera was nominated by his team for the Roberto Clemente Award, honoring the MLB player who best represents baseball on and off the field.
Cabrera is both a Catholic and a practitioner of Santería. He became a babalao in the 2006 offseason. His wife is named Rosangel, and they have two daughters and one son, born August 2011. Cabrera and his family live in Birmingham, Michigan.
In the early morning of October 3, 2009, police were called to the Cabreras' home and took Cabrera in for questioning. Cabrera had come home at 6:00am, after a night of drinking at the nearby Townsend Hotel, and got in an argument with his wife. He was seen later that day at a game at Comerica Park, with scratches on his face. Cabrera told reporters that the scratches came from his dog and refused to discuss the matter further. It was later reported he had a blood alcohol level of .26 when tested.
On January 21, 2010, it was reported that Cabrera spent three months in an alcohol abuse treatment center to help him recover from his addiction. He said at the time he had not drunk alcohol since he was taken into custody in October 2009, and that he would continue his treatment into spring training and the regular season.
Television station WXYZ had obtained a police report from an incident the preceding August, in which Cabrera was involved in a verbal altercation with diners at a restaurant inside the Townsend. Witnesses say Cabrera threatened to fight the group outside and indicated that he had a gun. Restaurant employees asked Cabrera to leave and police were called. There was no weapon in Cabrera's vehicle and Cabrera told team officials he did not own one. Cabrera then told team officials he had been dealing with personal issues and got upset, and the diners ended up dropping the matter.
Cabrera was arrested in Florida on suspicion for drunk driving and resisting arrest on February 16, 2011.
It was reported that the Tigers' 2012 post-division-clinching celebration held in the clubhouse in Kansas City was not attended by Cabrera, who desired to abstain from the festivities, even though the dousing "champagne" was non-alcoholic.
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