2009 Player Profile: Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera #24

  • Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 240
  • 2008 Stats: .292 – 37 HR – 127 RBI

CabreraHead.jpgMiguel Cabrera wasted little time in 2008 showing Tigers fans why he’s one of baseball’s premier hitters. His towering home run on Opening Day set the tone for a season in which he’d lead the league with 37 round-trippers.

After a cool start to ’08 — and a shift from third base to first — Cabrera quickly discovered his stroke and began feasting on A.L. pitching staffs, finishing with a .292 average.

The four-time All Star had particular success in 2008 against lefties, posting a .311 average and a .596 slugging percentage — though only nine of Cabrera’s homers came off a port-sider. This is just one anomaly in 25-year-old’s swing: a closer look at his hitting chart shows a decidedly pure pull hitter on ground balls and liners but more of a spray hitter on fly balls. In fact, most fly balls put in play Cabrera — roughly a quarter, including more than half his home runs — traveled to right- and right-center fields.

But perhaps the biggest mistake an opposing pitcher can make on Cabrera is to leave a ball out over the plate; and the higher the pitch, the better the chance he’ll crush it.

Look for more of the same in 2009.

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