With his milestone home run Sunday in Toronto, Miguel Cabrera joined an exclusive club by becoming the 28th major leaguer with 500 career homers.
The Detroit Tigers star is at the bottom of that group in homers, naturally, with five more to go until he passes Eddie Murray for 27th. But he’s solidly in the middle of the pack in some other stats. Here’s how Cabrera ranks against his 500-homer peers in seven other categories.
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Cabrera played his first MLB game at 20 years, 63 days old — four days younger than Hank Aaron was when he debuted with the Braves in 1954. But Aaron played 22 seasons; Cabrera is in the middle of his 19th year. (He’s under contract with the Tigers for two more seasons, through the end of the 2023 season.)
Cabrera is still in pursuit of hit No. 3,000, though he may not reach it till 2022. When he gets there, he’ll be the seventh player with 3,000 hits and 500 homers. But consider this even more exclusive group: He is one of just four right-handed hitters with 500 homers and multiple batting titles (2011, ’12, ’13, ’15). (Jimmie Foxx (1933, ’38) and Hank Aaron (1956, ’59) are the others.)
Pujols’ 81-double lead over Cabrera is the result of his two-year headstart, with 87 doubles after his debut in 2001. Since the start of the 2003 season, no player in baseball has more two-baggers than Cabrera, with Pujols No. 2 at 585 and Robinson Cano — suspended for all of 2021 — in third with 571.
On-base percentage: 13th
Cabrera posted an OBP better than .400 in six of his 10 seasons from 2006-15. But that’s no match for Ted Williams, who had 18 career seasons with an OBP above .400, second to one player in MLB history: Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb, who had 19.
Over the first 14 seasons of his career, Cabrera had 446 homers and a .562 slugging percentage (which would have been good for seventh). But since the start of the 2017 season, Cabrera has slugged just .401. Ruth, too, fell off toward the end; he slugged .431 in his final season, after 17 straight seasons above .500.
With great power comes great … strikeouts, or at least that seems to be the modern approach — seven of the top 10 on this list played in the 2000s. Cabrera’s season high in whiffs came in his third season, when he struck out 148 times with the Marlins in 2005. Jackson, meanwhile, had a 150-whiff season in three different decades (1968, 1971, 1982).
En route to his first 100 homers, Cabrera launched one every 5.3 games. He hit a homer every 4.70 games to go from 100 to 200, every 4.47 games to go from 200 to 300, every 4.09 games to get to 400, and finally slowed to one every 6.96 games to hit 500. McGwire’s splits went from 3.93 games per homer over his first 100 to 2.27 per homer from 400 to 500.
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