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Miguel Cabrera and the 2 Year Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera leads all Triple Crown categories for two years running. And that is not all.

Miguel Cabrera, best hitter in the game
Miguel Cabrera, best hitter in the game
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Miguel Cabrera has cooled off in June, batting .261 with a .413 slugging percentage. And that is fine, as others heat up to help carry the load. Victor Martinez is batting .255 but with a .471 slugging percentage, and Prince Fielder is leading the way hitting .362 with a .603 slugging percentage. Austin Jackson returned with four hits in three games including a home run. Torii Hunter is through chasing the elusive 300th home run and can go back to hitting singles to right field that turn into RBIs for Cabrera and Fielder.

Cabrera's 12 home runs in May prompted discussion about whether he could win a second consecutive triple crown. But in some sense the seasons are arbitrary divisions. Not that arbitrary, as nobody gives awards to players who excel in parts of seasons. Except the all star game which rewards players who have a strong couple of months to start a season. But I digress. Let's look at the past calendar year and the traditional Triple Crown stats in all of the major leagues, not just the American League.

Miguel Cabrera's .348 batting average leads Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, and Marco Scutaro. His 49 home runs are five in front of Chris Davis. And his 156 RBIs are 35 more than runner-up Edwin Encarnacion.

But let's go back two years. Now admittedly winning a triple crown over a two year span is not the same as winning a triple crown in each of the two years. I will leave it to you to decide which is more impressive. Miguel Cabrera's batting average of .344 is well ahead of Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, and Yadier Molina. His 79 home runs are four more than Edwin Encarnacion. His 266 RBIs lead Prince Fielder by 43.

Looking back three years, Cabrera leads in batting average and RBIs but is second to Jose Bautista in home runs.

Cabrera's Triple Crown in 2012 prompted a battle over traditionalists and stat geeks. So let's look at wRC+ (weighted runs created plus), wOBA (weighted on-base average), and fWAR (wins above replacement). For the past two years he leads Ryan Braun in wRC+, Joey Votto in wOBA, and Mike Trout in fWAR. For the past three years he leads all three categories as well.

So Miguel Cabrera has led the Triple Crown categories for two years. Achieving the traditional Triple Crown in 2013 would add to his legacy, and he has proven that he can do it. There is no point in arguing whether he is the best, care to argue over who is second?

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