By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports
Let the comparisons begin.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 400th home run over the weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals. It came off of Tyler Lyons, a towering drive to dead center field through a driving rain at Busch Stadium.
With that blast Cabrera hit his second milestone of the week in what is sure to be a Hall of Fame career. Earlier in the week he collected his 1,000th hit. However, as the old saying goes “Chicks dig the long ball.” So the focus has gone more to the home run and what it could mean moving forward for the player that is unquestionably the best hitter of our generation.
The Venezuelan born slugger is the 8th youngest to reach 400 home runs. That’s not the important number that’s going to be brought up however. Cabrera is in his age 32 season. He compares favorably with another home run king when he was the same age. Take a look at this graphic that aired on Sunday Night Baseball.
When it's all said & done could this generation have witnessed its Hank Aaron in Miguel Cabrera?? pic.twitter.com/R0DkjPOQYA— SportsGrind (@SportsGrind) May 18, 2015
Eerily similar isn’t it? So now the question becomes, can he break Hank Aaron’s record? Can he become the first “clean” player to be the all-time home run king?
According to Aaron’s baseball reference page, he played another 10 full seasons after that age 32 year. Over the course of those ten seasons, he averaged 31.3 home runs per year. Aaron hit his 400th on April 20th, then hit 42 home runs the rest of the season to finish with 44 for the year.
Cabrera has 10 home runs now this season and is on pace for 44. That would put him at 434 home runs at the end of this season, which would be 8 off the pace of Aaron. Over the course of his career, Cabrera has averaged 34 homers per season and he’s signed through age 42. If he were to keep his pace this season and hold that career pace through the end of that contract? He would end up with 774 for his career.
Is it likely that at ages 40, 41, 42 he’s hitting 34 homers? Of course not, but you can at least see a scenario where Cabrera could break the sport’s most prestigious mark and maybe in the process make us all feel good again about the home run king.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him. Agree/Disagree? Thoughts, comments, complaints? Email him.