Posted by Andy on February 17, 2011
Miguel Cabrera has been charged with drunk driving. This is not the first alcohol-related problem for Cabrera, and it makes me fear that he's not getting the help he needs.
Should Cabrera's career trajectory continue, he'll end up as one of the greatest players of all time.
Check out his similarity scores through Age 27:
- Frank Robinson (930) *
- Hank Aaron (928) *
- Ken Griffey (922)
- Hal Trosky (891)
- Mickey Mantle (884) *
- Albert Pujols (883)
- Orlando Cepeda (879) *
- Al Kaline (870) *
- Andruw Jones (862)
- Joe Medwick (861) *
That's a pretty impressive list.
I was just chatting with Neil and said that I fear Cabrera's career will not continue as it has if his issues with alcohol co untreated. Neil said it's like Darryl Strawberry 2.0.
It's a good point, but Strawberry was never as good as Cabrera. Strawberry's top OPS+ came in his last exceptional season: 165 OPS+ in 1988, his Age 26 season. Although he had a couple of very good years in 1990 and 1991, they weren't quite as good as his 1988, and he only played more than 63 games in a season once after that. After 1988, Strawberry's most similar player through Age 26 was Jose Canseco.
Cabrera just had his best season, a 179 OPS+ at Age 27. He's comparing favorably to Aaron, Robinson, Mantle, and Pujols. If he doesn't get control of his alcohol issues, will they affect his play on the field, and how far might he fall?