Since coming off the disabled list on August 14, Miguel Cabrera has hit .460 in 59 plate appearances, and held a lead of 42 points over the Indians’ Jason Kipnis, after Friday's action. The Tigers' slugger holds such a commanding lead on the rest of the league that he could go 0 for 40 at the plate and still lead the league in batting average at the current pace.
Cabrera, the two time American league MVP, needs 106 more plate appearances to reach the minimum of 502 needed to automatically qualify for the batting title. He is on pace to do just that, despite spending six weeks on the disabled list. He has been averaging 4.35 plate appearances per game this season. At that pace, he would need to play in 25 of the Tigers’ remaining 34 games to accumulate enough plate appearances to automatically qualify for the title. Barring another injury, he is certain to reach that level.
Cabrera could hit just .200 over 100 at bats with ten walks, and would still out pace Kipnis, who is currently batting .324. Note that plate appearances are used to qualify for the title, but at bats are used to calculate batting average. As we explained here on BYB earlier this month, he could win the batting title even if he falls shy of the automatic qualifier of 502 plate appearances, but he won't likely need that exception to qualify for the title. He is currently one plate appearance shy of qualifying based on the team's 128 games played thus far.
Cabrera won three consecutive batting titles from 2011 to 2013, with batting averages of .344, .330, and .348, respectively. He is on track to become just the fifth player in the history of the American league to win at least four batting titles. He also currently leads the league in on base percentage and weighted on base average. We are witnessing history in the making. Enjoy it!