Apparently Miguel Cabrera’s 2013 has made his 2012 better somehow

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Bill posted about Cabrera’s big night last night, and this morning Twitter is dominated by folks noting just how utterly ridiculous Cabrera has been so far this year. And make no mistake, he has been. He’s hitting .387/.457/.659 and leads the AL in runs, hits, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and total bases. Just crazy dominant. Obviously the pace won’t continue, but he’s easily the current leader in the MVP race if you care about such things in May.

But there is one tiny — and believe me, it is tiny — thing bothering me about all this today. It’s this sentiment, which I’ve seen all over the Twitters since the season began, usually spiking after Cabrera has a big game:

Do these people seriously believe that what happens in 2013 justifies assessments made about the 2012 season? How far back does this line of thinking go? Prince Fielder is having a better year than Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Howard. Does that mean he should have finished ahead of them in the 2009 MVP voting? Can someone tell me how this works?

People like to say the statheads are on some crusade and can’t stand it if people don’t agree with them. But I don’t see any statheads still fighting the 2012 MVP debates. And none of them are seriously arguing that Trout has had a better year than Cabrera so far.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.