Where do Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander really rank among baseball's elite?
The only position players ahead of Cabrera are Albert Pujols (1), Troy Tulowitzki (2), Joey Votto (4) and Evan Longoria (7). As a hitter, I wouldn't put Cabrera behind any of those players. Pujols obviously has the better body of work overall. Votto is a terrific player, but he there is still a relatively small sample size to his career. Tulowitzki is a gutty and tough player, and plays a premium position, shortstop, but isn't in the same class with Cabrera as a hitter. Lets put it this way, seems doubtful he is going to the Hall of Fame. With Cabrera, it is likely. Longoria is right about seven. But in this list, I would have Cabrera as No.2 behind Pujols among position players.
Verlander at 21 is interesting. The pitchers ahead of him are all excellent (Felix Hernandez 3, Tim Lincecum 5, Roy Halladay 6, Josh Johnson 11, CC Sabathia 15, Cliff Lee 19).
I see Verlander at the same level as all these pitchers. It's splitting hairs. The only exception is Johnson. I know his "stuff is electric," yet not to the same degree as Verlander. And he has pitched more than 200 innings in his career just once, has never won more than 15 games in a season and is not much younger than Verlander. Also, Lee's regular season record - other than the 22-3 season with Cleveland - hasn't been that good. His reputation is based much on pitching so well in the postseason, but that is a fair criteria.
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Labels: Justin Verlander Miguel Cabrera