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José Miguel Cabrera Torres, commonly referred to as Miguel Cabrera and nicknamed “Miggy”, is a Venezuelan professional baseball player. He is currently the first baseman for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Since his debut in 2003 he is a two-time American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winner, a four-time AL batting champ, and an eleven-time MLB All-Star. He has actually dipped into first and third base for most of his major league career, however mostly played left and right field before 2006. He claimed the 17th Major League Baseball Triple Crown in 2012, the first to do so in 45 seasons.
Cabrera was signed in 1999 as an amateur free agent by the Florida Marlins, and advanced through their minor league system. He made his Major League debut in mid-2003 at the age of 20, and added to the Marlins’ World Series success later on that year. Over the next 4 seasons, Cabrera was a regular player for the Marlins before being traded to the Detroit Tigers in late 2007. In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since 1967 to win the batting Triple Crown, leading the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBI, earning him the AL MVP award that year. In 2013, Cabrera improved on his previous year’s batting performance, consisting of a career-high .348 batting average, and got another AL MVP award.
Cabrera is extensively considered among the best pure players in baseball and among the greatest players of his era, integrating great power with a high batting average and excellent walk rate, along with a low strikeout percentage. He has hit 30 or more home runs throughout ten different seasons, driven in over 100 runs in twelve different seasons (including eleven successive seasons, 2004– 2014), and has a career .321 batting average through 2016– presently the highest among active players with a minimum of five years of big league service. Cabrera has actually been praised for hitting numerous line drives and fly balls while preserving a low pop-up rate, hitting the ball to all fields, and for his notable ability to drive inside pitches for home runs.
Miguel was signed by the Marlins in 1999 as an amateur free agent and showed up through their farm system, teaming with future major leaguers Adrian Gonzalez and Dontrelle Willis.
He started his professional career in 2000 as a shortstop in the Gulf Coast League (GCL). After batting .260 with 10 doubles, 2 triples and two home runs through 57 games for the GCL Marlins, Cabrera was promoted to Class-A ball where he finished the last eight games batting .250 with 6 RBIs for the New York– Penn League (NYPL) Blue Sox in Utica, New York.
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.
On March 22, 2008, Cabrera reached an arrangement with the Tigers on an eight-year, $152.3 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. The deal was also the biggest in Tigers history at the time, surpassing the five-year, $75 million contract signed by Magglio Ordóñez in 2005 (it was later exceeded in 2012 when Prince Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million deal) Cabrera earned $11.3 million in 2008, and will receive an average of $20 million each year through 2015.
Cabrera was named the American League Co-Player of the Week, in addition to fellow Tigers teammate Cameron Maybin, for the week of May 16– 22. Cabrera batted .500/.538/ 1.000 with 3 home runs and six RBIs throughout that time, to win his 14th career player of the week award. On May 23, Cabrera hit his 500th career double, becoming the 62nd player all time to reach the turning point. On June 12, Cabrera recorded his 2,400 th career hit in his 2,000 th career game, becoming the fifth-youngest player in MLB history to reach the milestone, at 33 years, 55 days old.
On June 28, Cabrera hit a home run off his former team, the Miami Marlins, providing him the difference of hitting a home run versus all 30 Major League teams throughout his career. On July 5, Cabrera was named to his 11th All-Star team, as a reserve initially base for the American League. On July 22, Cabrera recorded his 1,500 th career RBI, becoming the 56th player in major league history to reach the milestone. Cabrera reached 1,500 RBI with 400+ home runs quicker than anybody in Major League history. He is among 6 active players with at least 400 home runs and 1,500 RBI, and is more than 2 years younger than any of the other five. On August 18, Cabrera recorded his 1,000 th RBI as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
On September 5, Cabrera hit his 30th home run of the season and his 300th home run as a Detroit Tiger. He joins Al Kaline (399), Norm Cash (373) and Hank Greenberg (306) as the only four players to hit 300+ home runs in a Tiger uniform. On September 18, Cabrera recorded his 2,500 th career hit off the Indians’ Trevor Bauer, becoming the 100th player in Major League history to reach the turning point, and just the 8th player to do so by his age-33 season. He is the fourth-youngest (33 years, 181 days) to reach 2,500 hits, following Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Hank Aaron.
Cabrera was named the American League Player of the Week for the week of September 26– October 2. Cabrera batted .565 (13-for-23) with six runs scored, a double, four home runs and 13 RBI over six games. Cabrera finished the period first in hits, RBI, batting average, slugging percentage (1.130) and on-base percentage (.583), second in home runs and total bases (26), and tied for third in runs scored in the American League. This marked Cabrera’s 15th weekly honor, tying him with Barry Bonds for the second-most all-time. Cabrera was named the American League Player of the Month for the period of September 1 to October 2. Cabrera batted .347 (34-for-98) with 20 runs scored, four doubles, 10 home runs and 27 RBI over 26 games to declare his 6th career Player of the Month Award. Among American League leaders in September with a minimum of 80 at-bats, Cabrera finished the month second in slugging percentage (.694), tied for second in home runs and RBI, third in on-base percentage (.443), fourth in batting average, and tied for fourth in hits and runs scored.
Cabrera finished the 2016 season with a .316 batting average, 38 home runs, 31 doubles, and 108 RBI. He finished tied for first in the AL (with David Ortiz) for the most intentional walks (15), as well as led the AL by hitting into 26 double-plays.
Cabrera won the 2016 AL Silver Slugger Award for first basemen, his seventh Silver Slugger Award overall and third award in the beginning base. He is among 13 Major League players to have actually won seven or more Silver Slugger awards since the award was presented in 1980.
On April 22, 2017, Cabrera was put on the 10-day disabled list due to a right groin strain. He was activated on May 2, and hit his 450th career home run that night. On June 2, Cabrera recorded his 1,000 th career extra-base hit, ending up being the 39th player in Major League history to reach the milestone.