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Miguel Cabrera 2019 Outlook


bradwatson
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He gonna mash until he doesn't. Maybe the wheels fall off this week, maybe 2022. He might take a knock he doesn't come back from. He might go Pujols. But there's nothing in the "he's going to get hurt this year mark my word" stuff. His ceiling is still top 10 bat. As a long term dynasty owner I've seen his slap-hitter-April face before, and I'm salivating.

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What's interesting is that he's still posting great Exit Velo numbers (2nd in all of baseball last year at 95.3 avg, 12th best so far this year at 94.1). He may be 35 but it seems pretty clear his bat speed hasn't declined in any appreciable way. It also seemed like last season he had a lot going on in his personal life that was weighing on him like issues with his family regarding the crisis in Venezuela, and a paternity suit. I read that the legal issues are settled and he seems to be under a lot less stress now, which hopefully has an effect on his play. As long as his back injuries don't flare up I see him having a bounce back year.

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How are people feeling about this guy? His batted ball profile still looks pretty similar to prior years, but he's striking out a lot more this season and not hitting for any power. Do we still see much upside here?

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1 hour ago, Hockey_Baseball said:

I'm haunted by Beltre's final season so I worry about all elite old guys just falling off to that level. I guess we just have to wait until the weather heats up.

I’m thinking Albert pujols. I remember one year though where he didn’t hit a homerun until like May and then finished with 40.  I’m disappointed to say the least,but the knock was supposed to be his health, not his bat speed.  Batted ball profile is fine and he did hit 4 bombs in spring.  I’ll hold on until the warm weather gives me a better idea.

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It's April 15th.  I'm still a believer.  I look at Goldy last year and he sucked hard into May. Sure he's younger but Miggy is a generational talent.  If he sucks into May then I'll consider cutting my losses.  One thing that I did underestimate is how bad that Tigers lineup would be around him.  It's putrid and I'm not sure there's much upside for improvement either.

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He's hitting the ball hard AF, but he's rocking a 54% GB rate against 42% for his career. 2.86 GB/FB ratio against 1.16 for his career. That's Ian Desmond territory. Small sample size...but it was the same story in his abbreviated season last year. 

I'm invested, and he's going to hit for a decent BA, but I'm worried he's going to be capped at 20 HR or so and he's in a wasteland of a lineup.

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4 hours ago, NYOrangeNBlue said:

Just dropped. His ISO is awful. He looks done. [Removed Cool Story] 

Yahoo’s ROS projection has him at 103, and based on how he’s looked so far, I don’t see him hitting 25/82. 

I'm as frustrated as anyone, but this is pretty short sighted. And yahoo doesn't know sh*t. ISO is a production based metric, and not a projection based metric so of course it looks awful because he hasn't homered or had any extra base hits yet.

Looking deeper his average exit velocity is 93.6, which is exactly what his average exit velocity was in 2016 when he hit 38 bombs. His hard contact rate is 49% (was 50% in 2016). So he is knocking the sh*t out of the ball, but the results haven't come yet. The only troubling thing I see is his average launch angle is 2.5 degrees lower than 2016 and his K% is way up to 26.5 (was 17 in 2016). So basically he's hitting more groundballs and line drives than fly balls and he's striking out at a career high rate.

The K rate is admittedly alarming, but the rest suggests to me that results are coming. If you were hoping for vintage Miggy, it's not gonna happen, but I still expect some solid production from him moving forward

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16 minutes ago, bradwatson said:

I'm as frustrated as anyone, but this is pretty short sighted. And yahoo doesn't know sh*t. ISO is a production based metric, and not a projection based metric so of course it looks awful because he hasn't homered or had any extra base hits yet.

Looking deeper his average exit velocity is 93.6, which is exactly what his average exit velocity was in 2016 when he hit 38 bombs. His hard contact rate is 49% (was 50% in 2016). So he is knocking the sh*t out of the ball, but the results haven't come yet. The only troubling thing I see is his average launch angle is 2.5 degrees lower than 2016 and his K% is way up to 26.5 (was 17 in 2016). So basically he's hitting more groundballs and line drives than fly balls and he's striking out at a career high rate.

The K rate is admittedly alarming, but the rest suggests to me that results are coming. If you were hoping for vintage Miggy, it's not gonna happen, but I still expect some solid production from him moving forward

 

I don't disagree with what you're saying on the surface about ISO. But I love ISO. ISO is one of my favorite metrics and I think it helps tell a true story even here about how Miguel Cabrera is hitting.

 

He may have a good hard%, but as you say: launch angle. Dude's a complete worm killer right now. 51.2% GB% is Ghastly for Cabrera. Last year in his small sample it was actually a worse 54.6%. But ignoring that small sample, the worst it has EVER been in a Tigers uniform is 44.1%, and even that is high for a career that seemed to set right around the 39-41% mark for most of his prime. 

 

Like (and yes, I am force feeding Jorge Polanco in other threads) in his thread I went on about how Jorge Polanco has hit 6 GBs** this year and 35 LD+FBs and has a rate of 70.7% of his batted balls thus far in the year being Medium-to-Hard hit Line Drives or Fly Balls. Pitches/BIP you do damage on. (His ISO is, not coincidentally, a robust .340). By my count, Cabrera actually has an equivalent BIP number right now for my sample at 41. Whereas Polanco has 29 BIPs that are Med-Hard, LD-FB, Cabrera has 18 (44%). That's not *that* bad and is maybe a bit higher than I expected going into the evaluation. He's making Med-Hard Contact on 90% of the balls he does elevate, which is a positive even if there aren't many of them. What again makes the numbers look worse is bringing back up the GB numbers... in raw count, again same sampling size, Polanco has 6, Cabrera has 21. 21 GBs for Miguel Cabrera in 41 BIPs is disgusting. (ISO helps shine a light on that). 

 

In terms of Pulling the ball, Cabrera has Pulled ONE Flyball this year. ONE. UNO. Now I understand he doesn't necessarily need to pull the ball to have power, but there is a reason that the vast majority of hitters create more power to the pull side. Cabrera, whether intentionally or not, is not pulling anything in the air. That's not very conducive to HR conditions. 

 

It's early, he's always hurt, and he could adjust... he's miguel cabrera. But there's quite a few just straight-up awful things in the profile right now. He's got a bad K% and K/BB especially for him and he's not elevating at all. His BA is floating at a modest level with an incredible BABIP. BABIP may be sustainable for Miguel but if he needs a .360 BABIP to get to a .260 BA now... that's asying something. The Exit Velo is miraged by the GB%. Hard hit GBs are more likely to be singles (and we see that in his robust BABIP) maybe even down teh line doubles, but far more often than not they don't do much damage, which is the entire point of EV. 

 

I wouldn't recommend dropping, but I also wouldn't have recommended drafting. So for me it would depend on who was on the wire. If you (not OP, general) made the decision to get Miguel, you should probably stick to it because the upside-- not floor-- is why he was drafted. 

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Saw him in person for the first time in a few years last week and couldn't believe how bad he looked as far as the cuts he was taking, etc. Getting Pujols vibe here which is just sad. Also very poor protection around him in lineup so he is not seeing great pitches. The % of breaking balls being thrown to him this year is WAY up and he is pounding them into the ground. 

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I have a roster spot thats been a bit of a revolving door so I added Miggy but my expectations are low. I tend to own guys like him (Roy Halladay, Carlos Lee, Adrian Beltre etc.) the final crappy seasons of their great careers so lets hope that trend doesn't continue.

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