Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols are two of baseball's best power-hitting superstars.
But has Cabrera surpassed Pujols in stature in America's favorite past time? This is a growing source of debate amongst fans.
In this feature, I will try to compare Cabrera and Pujols to see if we can answer this question.
First is Cabrera. The Detroit TIgers' star is 30 years old and in his 11th year of MLB service. A native of Venezuela, Cabrera is a right-handed batter with 335 home runs,1,178 RBI, 399 doubles, 14 triples and 1,874 hits (in 1,557 career games).
Cabrera, who was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins, is most famous now for his Triple Crown Achievement last season.
Cabrera was the first Triple Crown winner in baseball since Carl Yazstremski won it in 1966 (Baseball-Reference).
This season, Cabera is well ahead of his Triple Crown numbers at this point last year.
According to ESPN statistics, Cabrera was batting .306 with eight home runs and 35 RBI through 45 games in 2012.
This compared to his gaudy numbers through the same number of games in '13 (.391/14 HR/55 RBI).
In this year's Triple Crown race, Cabrera currently leads the league in average and RBI. He is just one home run from tying Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles for the most home runs in the league (15).
While terrific, Pujols' career numbers are better than Cabrera's. Granted he has two more years of big league service under his belt than Cabrera.
Pujols also has nearly 350 more games and more than 1,350 more at-bats than Cabrera.
Photo: Sports Ilustrated
Still, the Dominican Republic native's stats are already hall of fame worthy.
In 1,905 career games, Pujols has hit .323 with 483 home runs and 1,463 RBI. He also has 514 doubles to go with 2,292 hits.
Pujols' career OBP/SLG/OPS is .412/.603/1.015. By comparison, Cabrera's is .397/.565/.962.
Looking at the career stats, it appears like Pujols blows Cabrera away.
This becomes more apparent when fans consider Pujols led the St. Louis Cardinals to three World Series (2004, 2006 and 2011 The Cardinals won two of these series in '06 and '11. Pujols is also a Gold Glove first baseman.
Cabrera has led the Tigers to two World Series (2006 and 2012). Yet both times the Tigers lost. Cabrera does not have a Gold Glove (yet).
Yet, this is where the argument gets heated. For some fans, career statistics mean less than what Cabrera has been able to do the past few years. Fans also look at how Pujols has struggled a bit since joining the Los Angeles Angels in 2012.
Since joining the Angels, Pujols has hit .285 (219-for-789) with 38 home runs and 134 RBI. Cabrera has batted .344 (277-for-806) with 58 homers and 194 RBI.
Placed side by side, there is no debate as to who is the best player right now.
Of course, baseball fans that look at how Pujols performed when he was Cabrera's age (29 and 30) may scoff at this argument. With the 2012 season not yet complete, it is too early to compare Cabrera to Pujols in this regard.
But for the record, Pujols hit .320 (369-for-1,155) with 89 home runs and 253 RBI between the age of 29-30.
So as you can see, the debate about whether Pujols or Cabrera is a better all-round hitter is still up in the air.
Regardless, it has been fun comparing these two great sluggers. Equally fun, is mentioning these two great men in the same breath as some of the great power-hitting names from baseball's past.
The day is fast approaching (if it has not already) when fans will begin to debate whether Cabrera and Pujols will end up being better than names like Ted Williams, Honus Wagner, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson and and other great sluggers to play the game.
The scary thing is that Pujols and Cabrera are still relatively young. Thus, it will be fun to see the final stats on each of these players. At the end of their careers, I am confident these two icons will create endless debate regarding just who is the best hitter in MLB history.
It is debates like this that make baseball such a fun game to watch.
Best wishes. Doc.
Paul Goode is a Featured Writer for the Basebook Baseball Social Network. You can read more of his work here.