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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cabrera Update After Game 28

In the 3rd game of the season, Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBIs.  But by game 16, all his stats were at all time lows.  Since then, he's recovered dramatically.  Here it is in a couple of graphs.

Graph 1 shows batting stats - batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Graph 1

This vertical scale is compressed to accommodate the high slugging average after game 3, so the impressive batting average increase from .206 after game 16 to .293 after game 28 doesn't look as dramatic as it should.  But note how slugging stepped up after game 16, and actually kept slowly rising from that point.  In game 28 last night, he had a double and a home run, so slugging moved up another notch to .466.  It will be interesting to see if he can maintain this apparent higher level.  This should happen, since he finished last year with a slugging percentage of .636.  This included a dramatic decline at the end of the season when he was injured.  Slugging for September was a sluggish .313, dragging the season number down from .688 on August 26. This year, his 4 home runs to date equal last years total after 28 games, but then he hit 2 in game 29 on May 3rd at Houston.  There is still a lot of room on the upside.

Graph 2 shows batting average, overall, with a split after inning 6, and for the last 8 games.

Graph 2

Never mind the early games, here I've expanded the scale a bit to put more emphasis on the improvement since game 16.  The big jump is most noticeable in the black line, showing average over the last 8 games. 

As the red line indicates, late inning performance lags overall performance.  But here's something amazing.  Overall, He's achieved 23 RBIs on 34 hits, an RBI for every 1.48 hits.  Through inning 6, it's an RBI for every 2.00 hits.  After inning 6, it's an astounding RBI for every .900 hits.  Late in games, when his batting average is lower, he has more RBI's than hits. That is some gonzo clutch hitting.   For perspective last year he had 137 RBIs on 193 hits, or 1.41 hits/RBI - not far off from where he is this year to date.

Based on the last 8 game numbers, it looks like Cabrera is back at, or close to, last year's mid-season form, before the injuries dragged him down.

If he can stay healthy, the future of this season looks pretty bright.

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