I think it’s a safe bet that Miguel Cabrera will end the 2009 season with more home runs than the Detroit Tigers’ current leader, Brandon Inge. There’s also a good chance that Cabrera will lead the team in all three key offensive measurements: home runs, RBI and batting average.
Cabrera has been unbelievable at the plate in 2009. After 175 at-bats, he’s leading the team with a .366 average and 37 runs batted in. He’s third on the team in home runs (10) behind Inge (12) and Curtis Granderson (11). It won’t be long before he pulls ahead in that category as well.
The big question is this: Is Cabrera capable of leading the entire league in all three categories? The answer is a resounding YES. The guy has incredible power, a great eye, and is demonstrating a profound intelligence at the plate. Great hitters typically do not swing at bad pitches — and Cabrera is making it very difficult for the opposition to pitch around him. Accordingly, he’s amassing an impressive hits-to-strikeout ratio.
Once the summer heats up, look for Cabrera to start hitting home runs in bunches. I bet he’ll have stretches in June, July and August when he’s hitting 4 to 6 home runs a week. At that point, he’ll pull far ahead of his teammates as well at the rest of the American League’s power hitters.
Cabrera won the home run title in his first year in the American League last year with 37 round trippers. Look for him to approach the 40 to 45 mark this year and 50+ beyond. Cabrera is the real deal and may very well become Detroit’s first Triple Crown winner since Ty Cobb in 1909. At 26 years of age, he’s going to have plenty of chances to do it.