Saturday, July 24, 2010

Where Does Cabrera's 2010 Season Rank in Tigers History?

It's been well documented that Miguel Cabrera has a chance to be the first Triple Crown winner (league leader in batting average, home runs and Runs Batted In)  in Major League Baseball since Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastremski accomplished the feat in 1967.  Cabrera's .347 batting average is second in the league to Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton (.354).  His 24 homer's are second to Jose Baustista of the Blue Jays (26) .  He leads the league in RBI with 85.   So, he is certainly within reach of winning all three categories.   

Cabrera also ranks well on some of the more modern statistics: He leads in slugging average (.650) and OPS (1.070).  He is second in OBP (.420) to Twins first Baseman Justin Morneau (.437). 

If we compare his OPS to league average and adjust for home ballpark, we get his adjusted OPS+.  An OPS+ of 100 is league average.  An OPS+ of more than 100 is better than average and an OPS+ of less than 100 is worse than average.  Keeping in mind that it's difficult to assign a ballpark effect to Target Field in Minnesota at this early stage, Cabrera is currently second to Morneau in OPS+ (181 versus 182). 

A limitation of OPS+ is that it weights OBP and slugging equally.  In actuality, OBP is more important than slugging and should carry more weight. It has been determine from the results of thousands of games that the following linear weights are more appropriate:

single 0.47
double 0.77
triple 1.04
home run 1.40
walk 0.31
HBP 0.34

Based on that, we can arrive at a batters runs created (wRC).  Cabrera has 84.7 wRC which is second to Hamilton at 85.8.  Adjusted Runs Created (wRC+) is the linear weights version of OPS+ and is interpreted the same way.  Cabrera is second to Morneau in wRC+ (181 to 185).

I used OPS+ and wRC+ to compare Cabrera's 2010 season so far to the best seasons in Tigers history.  Table 1 below lists the top seasons according to OPS+.  Not surprisingly, Ty Cobb dominates the list with nine of the top 11 seasons.   His OPS+ in those years ranged from 209 in 1917 to 185 in 1915.  His supremacy is interrupted only by Norm Cash (201 in 1961) and Harry Heilmann (194 in 1923).  Cabrera's current 181OPS+ ranks him 12th on the list.  For those who are curious, Magglio ordonez had a 166 OPS+ in 2007.


Table 1: Top OPS+ seasons in Tigers history 

Rank Player Year OPS+
1 Ty Cobb 1917 209
2 Ty Cobb 1910 206
3 Norm Cash 1961 201
4 Ty Cobb 1912 200
5 Ty Cobb 1911 196
6 Harry Heilmann 1923 194
7 Ty Cobb 1913 194
8 Ty Cobb 1909 194
9 Ty Cobb 1918 193
10 Ty Cobb 1914 190
11 Ty Cobb 1915 185
12 Miguel Cabrera 2010 181
13 Harry Heilmann 1927 180
14 Ty Cobb 1916 179
15 Al Kaline 1967 176
16 Roy Cullenbine 1946 176

Table 2 lists the top Tigers seasons according to wRC+.  Cobb is even more dominant on this list taking nine of the top ten spots.  Cash's 1961 season is the only interruption.  Cabrera ranks #15 on this list behind ten seasons of Cobb, Cash, Heilmann's 1923 and 1927 seasons and Roy Cullenbine in 1946.

There is still a lot of baseball to be played this season but if Cabrera can keep up the same pace, it will be one of the best seasons ever by a Tiger not named Cobb.   

Table 2: Top wRC+ Seasons in Tigers history

Rank Player Year wRC+
1 Ty Cobb 1917 219
2 Ty Cobb 1910 219
3 Ty Cobb 1911 210
4 Ty Cobb 1909 209
5 Ty Cobb 1913 203
6 Norm Cash 1961 200
7 Ty Cobb 1912 200
8 Ty Cobb 1915 200
9 Ty Cobb 1918 200
10 Ty Cobb 1914 197
11 Harry Heilmann 1923 196
12 Ty Cobb 1916 193
13 Roy Cullenbine 1946 192
14 Harry Heilmann 1927 187
15 Miguel Cabrera 2010 181
16 Al Kaline 1967 181

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sabermetrics Book

Sabermetrics Book
One of Baseball America's top ten books of 2010

Blog Archive

Subscribe

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Stat Counter

Site Meter