Monday, January 30, 2012

Are the Tigers Cabrera and Fielder the best 3-4 Hitters in baseball?

Last week, the Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year deal worth over 200 million dollars. The money baseball players get is ridiculous, but the Tigers will have a hell of a lineup now. Fielder will be playing for the team that his father Cecil Fielder played for. They already have Miguel Cabrera, who is probably the best hitter in baseball right now. Cabrera will move from first base to third base to make room for Fielder. The Tigers defense at the corners might not be the greatest, but their bats will be.

There is some other good combos in baseball, but I don't think they match Cabrera/Fielder. The Yankees have Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, The Red Sox have Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz, the Rangers have alot of good hitters, the Cardinals have Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, and Carlos Beltran, the Marlins have Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton, and the Reds have Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Below, are the 162 game averages for Cabrera and Fielder.

               Cabrera          Fielder
BA           .317                .282
OBP        .395                .390
SLG         .555                .540
HR             33                   37
RBI           118                 106

This will likely be one of the best combinations in Detroit Tigers history and could be one of the best combos in baseball history. Thats saying alot for the Tigers franchise, considering the great hitters they've had. They had Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford 100 years ago, and later Cobb and his protege Harry Heilmann(who once hit over .400). They also had Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer in the 30s who led them to three World Series and one championship. In the 50s and 60s, the Tigers had 3000 hit man Al Kaline, but never had a great hitter to pair him with. Norm Cash and Willie Horton were pretty good hitters, but not Hall of Fame caliber hitters. In the 80s, the Tigers had good but not great hitters Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, and Kirk Gibson who led them to the 1984 championship, their last World Series title. And finally, Prince's dad Cecil Fielder had a good run in the early 90s.

The Tigers won 95 games last year and lost in the ALCS. They were 4th in the AL with 787 runs scored, but should challenge for the AL lead now. Besides Cabrera and Fielder, the Tigers have All Stars at catcher(Al Avila) and shortstop(Jhonny Peralta). Austin Jackson is a good defensive center fielder, and Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young are decent hitters. Their pitching is led by MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who won 24 games last year. Doug Fister pitched well after coming over in a trade from Seattle. Mizzou grad Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and St. Louis native and rookie Jacob Turner fill out the staff. The Tigers also have a really good bullpen with closer Jose Valverde(49 for 49 in save opportunities last year), and setup relievers Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, and Al Alburquerque. I think Detroit will be one of the best teams in baseball this year, and should make a run at the World Series this year.

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