Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera against the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2011
Detroit Tigers — No. 24
First baseman
Born: April 18, 1983 (1983-04-18) (age 28)
Maracay, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
June 20, 2003 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through September 28, 2011)
Batting average     .317
Hits     1,597
Home runs     277
Runs batted in     984
Career highlights and awards

José Miguel Cabrera Torres (born April 18, 1983) nicknamed "Miggy", is a Venezuelan professional baseball first baseman with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He bats and throws right-handed.

He is a six-time All-Star, having been selected to the National League All-Star Team in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and the American League All-Star Team in 2010, 2011. Cabrera has started at least 100 games at first base, third base, left field and right field.[1] He progressed through the Florida Marlins minor-league system, and was called up from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats in June 2003, and went on to help the Florida Marlins win the World Series that year. According to Baseball-Reference, Cabrera is putting up statistics comparable to Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey, Jr. at age 28,[2] and is considered one of the best hitters in baseball today. He is a very intimidating hitter, as he consistently hits the best pitchers in baseball. Dan Haren is quoted as saying, "You're going to make good pitches, and he's going to hit them."[3]


Early life

Cabrera was born on April 18, 1983 in Maracay, Aragua State, Venezuela to parents Miguel and Gregoria.

Minor leagues

Miguel began to rise through the Marlins' farm system teaming with future major leaguers Adrian Gonzalez and Dontrelle Willis. He began his professional career as a six-foot-two-inch 185 pound shortstop in the Gulf Coast League. Although he had below average speed, he had a rocket arm, above average plate discipline, and a thorough knowledge of the game. After batting .260 with 10 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs through 57 games, Cabrera was promoted to Class-A ball where he finished the final 8 games batting .250 with 6 RBIs.

Heading into 2001, the Marlins bumped Cabrera up to the Low Class-A Kane County Cougars where he teamed up with current Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. He got off to a rocky start to begin the season, but was able to improve his average to .279 by mid-season, and earned his way into the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend in Seattle, along with Gonzalez. Fighting a sore lower back, Cabrera went hitless in the showing. He ended the year batting .268 with 30 extra-base hits, 66 RBIs, and distinguished himself as having the strongest arm in the Midwest League.

Entering the following season, Cabrera was once again promoted; this time to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the High Class-A Florida State League. At the request of then Marlins assistant manager, Ozzie Guillen, Cabrera made the transition from shortstop to third base. Willing to do whatever it took to reach the major leagues, Cabrera displayed no resistance to the move. While it took some time to make himself comfortable at his new position, he showed no slowing in the batter's box. By July, his average was locked in at .277, and he led his team with 45 RBIs earning himself a second trip to the Future's game; this time picking up two singles. He didn't lose his stride as he finished the season batting .278 with 43 doubles and 75 RBIs. Up to this point, his power had yet to reveal itself as he hit just 9 homers in his 489 at-bats.

To begin the 2003 season, Cabrera earned another promotion to the Double-A Carolina Mudcats. There he teamed up with Dontrelle Willis, the left-handed fireballer with whom he would later join in the majors. In his fourth professional season, Miguel was shredding up the competition. In April, he hit .402, and by June his average stood at .365 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs before being called up to the majors.

Major league career

Florida Marlins

2003: Rookie year

Cabrera made his major league debut on June 20, 2003, at 20 years old; Edgar Rentería, at 19 years old, was the only Marlins player to make his debut at a younger age. Cabrera hit a walk-off home run in his first major league game, following Billy Parker in 1972 and Josh Bard in 2002 as the third player since 1900 to hit a game-winning home run in his big-league debut.

Quietly, Cabrera put together one of the best seasons by a National League rookie, immediately becoming the Marlins cleanup batter. Cabrera's postseason play helped propel Florida to a World Series championship over the Yankees and also landed him on the cover of ESPN The Magazine during the offseason.

In the NLDS against the Giants, Cabrera hit .286 with three RBI. After changing positions in the heat of the NLCS against the Cubs, he hit .333 with three homers and six RBI. In the World Series, Cabrera had the at bat that defined his postseason in Game Four. Facing Roger Clemens for the first time, Cabrera, who was only 20 years old at the time, got knocked down by a Roger Clemens inside fastball. Two pitches later, he belted the Clemens offering into the right field seats.

In his first season Cabrera batted .268 (84-for-314), with 12 Home Runs, 62 RBI, 39 runs, 21 doubles, and three triples in 87 games played.


In 2004, he proved that his rookie season was no fluke, batting .294 with 33 homers, 112 RBI, 101 runs, 177 hits, a .366 on base percentage, a .512 slugging percentage from the third and fourth spots in the order, while playing in 160 games and earning his first All-Star appearance.

Cabrera spent the whole 2004 season playing in the outfield, with no games at third base; he showed his arm strength as a former third baseman with his 13 outfield assists. In 284 total fielding chances, he committed 9 errors (tied for the most among AL outfielders)[4] and made 262 putouts.


In 2005 he came in second in the National League in hits with 198, and batted .323 with 33 homers, 43 doubles, 2 triples, and 116 RBIs. He was chosen to his second consecutive All-Star Game along with teammates Paul LoDuca and Dontrelle Willis, and won his first Silver Slugger award. His 33 home runs made him the youngest player in Major League Baseball history to hit back-to-back 30 homer seasons, at 22 years, 143 days. Albert Pujols of the Cardinals did it at 22 years, 223 days. Cabrera also became the first Florida Marlin in history to hit at least 30 home runs and bat in at least 100 runs in back-to-back seasons.

During the 2005 season, Carlos Delgado protected Cabrera in the lineup, which allowed Cabrera to see more hittable pitches rather than having more pitchers pitch around him in the order (usually by intentionally walking him). The Marlins traded Delgado to the New York Mets after the season as part of their organizationally-termed "market correction," obtaining first baseman Mike Jacobs, pitcher Yusmeiro Petit, and infielder Grant Psomas from the Mets.


Cabrera entered the 2006 season as a leader and key run producer. With help from teammates Josh Willingham and Dan Uggla hitting behind and ahead of him respectively, Cabrera finished the year with a career-high .339 batting average, 26 home runs and 114 RBIs. He was selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game and won his second Silver Slugger.

On June 22, 2006, Cabrera singled on the first pitch of an attempted intentional walk during the 10th inning against pitcher Todd Williams. This oddity put the Florida Marlins ahead for good in an 8–5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.[5]

During a July 9 7–6 road loss to the Mets, Cabrera became involved in an altercation with teammate Scott Olsen. With the Marlins trailing 2–0, Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca hit a hard grounder that glanced off Cabrera's glove and rolled into left field, allowing a run to score as Lo Duca raced to second with a double. While the ball glanced off Cabrera's glove, Olsen seemed to believe that Cabrera did not give his full effort to get to the ball. As they came off the field, Olsen could be seen shouting something at Cabrera. A moment later, television cameras showed Cabrera in the crowded dugout reaching past teammates to poke his finger at Olsen as the pitcher walked past him. Olsen tried to jab back at Cabrera, who charged Olsen and tried to kick the pitcher before both players were quickly separated by teammates.[6]

Cabrera battled the Pirates shortstop Freddy Sanchez for the National League batting crown until the last day of the regular season. Manager Joe Girardi batted him first in the last game of the season to give him more chances to get a hit for the crown, but Cabrera finished second to Sanchez. Cabrera also finished the 2006 campaign with a career-high .568 slugging percentage and a career-high .430 on base percentage.


Cabrera with the Marlins in 2007

On February 17, 2007, Cabrera became the first player of the 2007 offseason to win his arbitration hearing, obtaining a one-year contract worth $7.4 million.[7]

Cabrera made his fourth consecutive All-Star game. He was initially supposed to participate in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star weekend, but an injured left shoulder, suffered a few days before the All-Star break, forced him out of the derby and limited him in the All-Star game to a pinch hit at-bat against Dan Haren in which he struck out.

On September 4, 2007, Cabrera batted in his 500th run as a major leaguer, making him the third-youngest player to accumulate 500 RBI. Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Ted Williams were the only players to precede him in this feat.[8]

On September 15, 2007, at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, Cabrera added two more achievements to his already impressive career. For the fourth consecutive season (2004–2007) Cabrera managed to drive in at least 100 runs. His 100th RBI came in the first inning against Ubaldo Jimenez when he followed a Jeremy Hermida triple with a single to drive him in. Five innings later, Cabrera added four more RBI when he hit a ball 438 feet (134 m) into the center field trees for his first career grand slam.[9] He joined David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira and Vladimir Guerrero as the only players to reach the 100-RBI plateau in each of the four previous seasons.[10]

In 2007, Cabrera won the NL Player of the Week twice (April 1–8 and June 4–10). He also made his way through the Marlins record book, passing former Marlins Gary Sheffield and Derrek Lee for second on the franchise home run list. He moved into third in all-time franchise RBI and first in batting average. Cabrera ended the season with career highs in both home runs and runs batted in.

Detroit Tigers

On December 5, 2007, the Marlins traded Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for pitchers Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Burke Badenhop, outfielder Cameron Maybin, and catcher Mike Rabelo.[11]

On March 22, 2008 Cabrera reached an agreement with the Tigers on an eight-year, $153.3 million contract extension. At the time, the deal was the fourth-largest in baseball history, behind those signed by Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Manny Ramirez.[12] The deal is also the largest in Tigers history, surpassing the five-year, $75 million contract signed by Magglio Ordóñez in 2005. Cabrera earned $11.3 million in 2008, and will receive an average of $19 million per year through 2015.


Cabrera playing for the Tigers in 2009.

Cabrera made his Tigers debut on March 31, 2008 in a home game against the Kansas City Royals. In his third at-bat, he hit a solo home run off Royals pitcher Gil Meche. He finished the game 1-for-5 with two strikeouts, and the Tigers lost 5–4 in 11 innings.[13]

On April 22, manager Jim Leyland announced that Cabrera would be moving to first base, with Carlos Guillén becoming the starting third baseman. Cabrera had already made seven appearances at first, the first appearances at the position of his career.[14]

Cabrera was named the AL Player of the Month for July after batting .330 with 8 home runs and 31 RBI.[15]

On September 7, Cabrera reached the 1,000-hit plateau on a home run off Twins pitcher Glen Perkins.[16]

Cabrera finished the 2008 season with a career-high 37 home runs, which led the American League.[17] He became the youngest AL home run champion since Troy Glaus in 2000.[18] He also established a new career high in RBI (127).[19] He became one of only five players who have driven in at least 100 runs in each the past five seasons, joining Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Bobby Abreu and Mark Teixeira.


Cabrera was selected to play for Venezuela at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, along with Tigers teammates Magglio Ordóñez, Carlos Guillén, and Armando Galarraga.

On Opening Day, Cabrera hit a grand slam in left-center that traveled better than 420 feet (130 m) at Comerica Park to give the Detroit Tigers a convincing 15–2 victory over the Texas Rangers. Cabrera finished the game 4 for 6 with 6 RBI.

On August 23, 2009 Cabrera hit his 200th career home run in his 1,000th career game against the Oakland A's. He became only the 4th Venezuelan player to ever reach that plateau.

Cabrera posted a .324 batting average, which was 4th in the AL. He also tied his career-high in hits with 198, which was also 4th among the AL. He also had yet another 100+ RBI season making it the 6th straight year for him to reach the 100 RBI mark.


On May 28 in a game against the Oakland Athletics in Detroit, Cabrera hit three home runs in a 5–4 Tigers loss. Two of the home runs were against starter Ben Sheets, and one against closer Andrew Bailey. It was the first three home run game in Cabrera's career, and came in his first game returning to the team after his daughter's birth.

Cabrera was named an AL All-Star for the first time since joining the American League, and the 5th time in his seven year career. He was chosen to be the starter in place of Minnesota Twins star Justin Morneau who had a head injury.

On September 26 in a game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Cabrera suffered a high ankle sprain while getting back to first base on a pick-off throw attempt. He initially tried to play, but the Tigers decided to shut him down for the remainder of the season. He ended his 2010 season with a .328 batting average, a career-high 38 HRs and 126 RBIs. The lack of a strong #5 hitter to follow Cabrera in the Tigers lineup also resulted in him drawing a career-high 89 walks, 32 of which were intentional. On defense, he led all AL first basemen in errors, with 13.[20]


Cabrera was named to his second AL All-Star team as a reserve. It was his sixth All-Star Game appearance overall. On July 15, 2011, the first game after the All-Star break, Cabrera collected his 1500th career hit in a game against the Chicago White Sox.[21] Cabrera hit for a .344 average, winning the AL batting title, while also leading the AL in on-base percentage (.448) and doubles (48). On defense, he led all AL first basemen in errors, with 13.[22]

Cabrera hit .429 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI in September 2011, propelling the Tigers into the playoffs and eventually the American League Championship Series. In the first five games of the series, Cabrera managed an incredible .565 OBP, as well as a home run and four doubles, one of them off of the third base bag.

Through 2011, he had the 6th-best career batting average of all active players (.317), and 7th-best slugging percentage (.555) and OPS (.950).[23]

Personal life

Cabrera is both a Catholic and a practitioner of Santería. He became a babalao in the 2006 offseason.[24] His wife is named Rosangel, and they have 2 daughters and 1 son, born August 2011. [25] Cabrera and his family currently live in Birmingham, Michigan.[26] In the early morning of October 3, 2009, police were called to the Cabreras' home and took Cabrera in for questioning. Cabrera had come home at 6:00am, after a night of drinking at the nearby Townsend Hotel, and got in an argument with his wife. He was seen later that day at a game at Comerica Park, with scratches on his face. Cabrera told reporters that the scratches came from his dog and refused to discuss the matter further.[27] It was later reported he had a blood alcohol level of .26, three times the legal limit, when tested at the police station. Dave Dombrowski, the general manager of the Tigers, picked him up from the police station around 7:30am—eleven and a half hours before that evening's game in which he went 0–4 with one strikeout and six runners left on base against the Chicago White Sox.[28]

On January 21, 2010, it was reported that Cabrera spent three months in an alcohol abuse treatment center to help him recover from his addiction. He said at the time he had not drunk alcohol since he was taken into custody in October, 2009, and that he would continue his treatment into spring training and the regular season.[29]

Television station WXYZ had obtained a police report from an alleged incident the preceding August, in which Cabrera was involved in a verbal altercation with diners at a restaurant inside the Townsend.[30] Witnesses say Cabrera threatened to fight the group outside and indicated that he had a gun. Restaurant employees asked Cabrera to leave and police were called. There was no weapon in Cabrera's vehicle and Cabrera told team officials he did not own one. Cabrera then told team officials he had been dealing with personal issues and got upset, and the diners ended up dropping the matter.[31]

Cabrera was arrested in Florida on suspicion for drunk driving and resisting arrest on February 16, 2011.[32]

See also


  1. ^ "Fielding stats at". Baseball-reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cabremi01.shtml. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Miguel Cabrera age-based similar players (through age 26)". baseball-reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp_bat.cgi?I=cabremi01:Miguel%20Cabrera&st=age&compage=26&age=26. Retrieved July 22, 2008. 
  3. ^ "What They Say". http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Cabrera/Cabrera_they-say.html. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Marlins' Cabrera spoils intentional walk in win". espn.com. June 22, 2006. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13493228/. Retrieved June 2, 2007. 
  6. ^ Tom D'Angelo (July 14, 2006). "Learning to Lead". Cox News. http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060714/SPORTS/607140361. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Cabrera's arbitration case settled". espn.com. February 17, 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2769361. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Cabrera's 500th RBI for naught in loss". http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070904&content_id=2188704&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=fla. Retrieved September 4, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Cabrera's Cabrera powers Marlins over Rockies". http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070915&content_id=2210658&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=fla. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Cabrera's grand slam propels Marlins to 10–2 win over slumping Rockies". http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jmtcSInPc-Vj2IS6dS8a5s6-8Y2g. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  11. ^ Passan, Jeff (December 4, 2007). "Cabrera, Willis dealt to Tigers". Yahoo!Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AqxXrwtj4gtwlov3PpcA0Z8RvLYF?slug=jp-cabreratigers120407&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  12. ^ Tigers lock up Cabrera for eight years "Tigers lock up Cabrera for eight years Contract is biggest awarded in Detroit team history". http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080325&content_id=2457042&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb Tigers lock up Cabrera for eight years. Retrieved May 23, 2008. 
  13. ^ By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer Monday, Mar 31, 2008 (March 31, 2008). "The $138-million Tigers opened with a thud, losing to Royals 5–4 – MLB – Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=280331106. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ "ESPN – Tigers move Cabrera to first base, Guillen to third – MLB". Sports.espn.go.com. April 23, 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3362720. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  15. ^ Tigers' Cabrera named AL Player of the Month – 08/04/2008 – MiamiHerald.com[dead link]
  16. ^ Sunday, Sep 7, 2008 (September 7, 2008). "Tigers hit 3 home runs, beat Twins 7–5 – MLB – Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=280907109. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Yearly League Leaders &amp Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/HR_leagues.shtml. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ AP File Photo. "Home run champ Cabrera is Tigers' top star". MLive.com. http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2008/09/home_run_champ_cabrera_is_tige.html. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Miguel Cabrera Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cabremi01.shtml. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ Iott, Chris. Article at mlive.com on July 15, 2011. [3]
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ "Miguel Cabrera Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cabremi01.shtml. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  24. ^ Baxter, Kevin. "Religion under wraps", the Los Angeles Times, published June 26, 2007, accessed June 28, 2007.
  25. ^ http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100526&content_id=10452696&notebook_id=10453754&vkey=notebook_det&fext=.jsp&c_id=det Tigers' Cabrera, wife welcome second child] MLB.com May 26, 2010
  26. ^ [5][dead link]
  27. ^ Drunk Cabrera Had Fight With Wife[dead link]
  28. ^ http://detnews.com/article/20091005/SPORTS0104/910050376/Police--Drunk-Cabrera-picked-up--released-after-911-call-from-home
  29. ^ "Tigers' Cabrera treated for alcoholism, life is better". Associated Press. January 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  30. ^ Cabrera's Other Run-In With the Law[dead link]
  31. ^ http://www.wxyz.com/news/story/Miguel-Cabreras-Other-Run-in-with-the-Law/ycxssRt2LEOYHyYSF1zj7Q.cspx
  32. ^ "Tigers' Miguel Cabrera arrested on suspicion of drunken driving". Los Angeles Times. February 17, 2011. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-newswire-20110218,0,421744.story. 

External links

Preceded by
Alex Rodriguez
American League Home Run Champion
Succeeded by
Carlos Pena & Mark Teixeira

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