By James Nahikian
Most of the talk this year that has surrounded the 2012 Detroit Tigers has been very negative, the team is underperforming, they are the owners of a losing record, and they sit 4.0 games out of first in the Central Division as the league nears the All-Star break.
However, one of Detroit’s biggest stars is starting to come around, as he is putting together another monster season. This player is Tigers’ third basemen, Miguel Cabrera. His numbers are now starting to get some league wide attention, as they very well should be. After Cabrera’s four hit night in which he parked an opposite field home run at Tropicana Field in the Tigers win against the Rays last night, Miguel now has 62 RBI’s, 16 home runs, and is batting .312 on the year. He also has 23 doubles, 96 hits, an on base percentage of .370 and a slugging percentage that is well over .500. All of these numbers rank among the league’s best and Cabrera is now finally hitting his stride, although he didn’t get off to a slow start whatsoever, he seems to be very locked in as of late. Not to mention that he is more than holding his own at his new position this year.
So can Miguel win the MVP? Without question. As of now, the top five guys are all relatively close, with the leader probably being Josh Hamilton, Josh got off to a ridiculously impressive start but has sense cooled off and currently has 69 RBI’s and 24 home runs. The other four in my mind would include Cabrera, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, who leads the American League in home runs with 26 and also has 61 RBI’s. Adam Dunn has to be in the mix as he is having quite the bounce back season with 24 home runs and 57 RBI’s, however if he continues to lead the league in strikeouts and his .214 batting average doesn’t improve, I don’t see him winning the award. Dunn currently has 25 more strike outs than anyone with 121 already. Finally, I’d put Edwin Encarnacion in the fifth and final spot. This guy is quietly having a remarkable season with a .285 batting average to go along with his 22 home runs and 54 RBI’s.
So as it sits right now, I’d put Miguel slightly behind Josh Hamilton and maybe Bautista as well, but there is still so much more baseball to be played. Cabrera is on pace to rack up more than 120 RBI’s, batt well over .300 and possibly reach 40+ home runs. Those are without a doubt MVP caliber numbers. I expect some players to cool off and come back to the pack, and I also expect Cabrera to remain hot.
By the end of the season, the Detroit Tigers could very well have their second MVP winner in as many seasons.
James Nahikian blogs about the industry of sports. And specializes in articles about the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Bowling Green State University Athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org And follow him on twitter @KingNahikian or facebook where you can find links to his articles and updates about future