Fantasy Baseball Profile: Where Does Miguel Cabrera Stack Up Among First Basemen?
Miguel Cabrera‘s 2009 season with the Tigers couldn’t have ended on a more sour note. He spent three months getting help with an alcohol addition. Assuming his life is in order, he’ll resume doing what he’s been doing for year now…clobbering opposing pitchers.
The past six years he’s averaged 98.5 runs, 32.8 HRs, and 115.2 RBIs, all while hitting a robust .315. The scary thing is the fact that he’s only 27 (on April 18th anyway).
The question is, where do you rank him among his peers.
Obviously Albert Pujols is in a league of his own. He is without peers. He’s clearly the number one overall player, let alone first basemen.
In my estimation, Miguel Cabrera is in tier 1-A with three other first basemen. Those 1Bs, in no particular order, are Mark Teixeira, Ryan Howard, and Prince Fielder. You can’t really go wrong with them, it’s just a matter of preference. Let’s break down their recent averages.
Cabrera (2004-2009): .315, 98.5 runs, 32.8 HRs, 115.2 RBIs, 4 SBs
Howard (2006-2009): .278, 102 runs, 49.5 HRs, 143 RBIs, 2.5 SBs
Teixeira (2004-2009): .295, 100.8 runs, 36 HRs, 119 RBIs, 2.3 SBs
Fielder (2007-2009): .288, 99.3 runs, 43.3 HRs, 121.3 RBIs, 2.3 SBs
Looking at these players and you can quickly eliminate runs and SBs from the equation as they are practically the same number for each performer. Two numbers stand out from the crowd. Miguel Cabrera’s batting average and Ryan Howard’s RBI total.
I know Ryan Howard’s 2008 average (.251) and his first-half 2009 average (.257) were tough on fantasy owners, but overall they don’t kill you. In fact, when I adjust my initial first base rankings (click to see), I think I’m going to have to put Howard at #2. I know he strikes out a ton, but the number of HRs and RBIs he brings to the table is just too valuable.
So that leaves us with Tex, Prince, and Cabrera. There isn’t much of a difference between Teixeira and Cabrera’s numbers since 2004. I give Tex a slight bump simply because of the lineup his in and the ballpark they play in.
That brings us to Prince and Cabrera. Fielder is obviously a bigger power threat. Cabrera has the ability to hit 30 or 40 points higher than Prince. Fielder’s RBI totals are higher, but they are skewed by the 141 he had last year. Cabrera’s were skewed in the wrong direction with the 103 he had last year.
Like I said, it’s a matter of preference between these guys. I happen to like what Cabrera brings to the table a little more. That doesn’t mean I think you’re wrong if you like Prince better.
Prediction: .335, 100 runs, 35 HRs, 120 RBIs
Arizona Diamondbacks: Brandon Webb
Atlanta Braves: Yunel Escobar
Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox: Clay Buchholz
Chicago Cubs: Geovany Soto
Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto
Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore
Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez