As hard as it has been to see so many franchise icons traded in the last year or so, Tiger fans can turn to Miguel Cabrera as one of the few greats still on the team. Unfortunately, his performance last season was hardly great.
Battling a litany of personal issues and lingering injuries, Cabrera limped to a career-worst .249/.329/.399 slash line with 16 home runs, 60 RBI, a 91 wRC+ and a -0.2 fWAR.
There were some encouraging signs of life from Miggy, however. He posted a 42.5% hard-hit rate, his highest since 2014. His 27.3% line drive rate was the highest mark of his career, and his 2.5% infield fly rate was his lowest mark ever.
Despite more line drives, less infield pop-ups and balls hit harder than ever, Miggy’s .292 BABIP was the lowest mark of his career. That number should return closer to his .344 career norm, which will help Miggy approach his career .317 average.
All signs point to a bounceback for the 34-year-old slugger next season. Expecting him to return to his Triple Crown days of 2013 is ambitious, but a .290 average and 35 home runs is very attainable for the big man. A return to form would be huge for the Tigers next season. Although it may not change the teams fortunes dramatically, it will boost morale for the fans and players alike to see Miggy back to doing what Miggy does.
Next up will be the first full season for our new second baseman: