DETROIT – Tigers fans who have watched Miguel Cabrera throughout his nine seasons in Detroit know he is one of the best hitters of all time, but a recent breakdown by an MLB.com writer suggests the slugger could actually be ... underrated!
Columnist Mike Petriello broke down some statcast numbers that show Cabrera actually deserved to have better numbers at the end of the 2016 season, and that's saying something, because Cabrera's final stats were nothing to scoff at.
The 33-year-old finished sixth in MLB with a .956 OPS, but analytics suggest that number should have been even higher.
In the column, Petriello points to the spacious outfield in Comerica Park and some sensational defensive plays as factors contributing to Cabrera's bad luck. In fact, Statcast predicts Cabrera's OPS should have been a full .142 higher than it was. If that were the case, Cabrera would have finished with the highest OPS in baseball.
Statcast points to seven instances in which Cabrera was robbed of a hit on a ball that went at least 400 feet. Six of those were at Comerica Park.
In baseball, statistics like these usually regress to a point in which Cabrera finishes more or less with the numbers his contact level deserves. But in Comerica Park, he could continue to fall victim to more long outs.
You can read the full MLB.com column here.