Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B/DH
It honestly feels as though baseball has gone numb to the metronomic consistency of Miguel Cabrera. He has won the American League batting title in four of the past five seasons, has been to the All-Star Game in 10 of his 12 full seasons, has two MVP awards to his name, and six Silver Sluggers. By the time Cabrera’s career concludes, he has a very outside shot at becoming the first player with 600 home runs and 4,000 hits.
Cabrera has been such a pure power hitter for so long that his greatness almost seems to go unnoticed. Playing in mid-market Detroit doesn’t help. If Cabrera played for the Yankees, it’s hard to imagine there being as much fuss over him winning the MVP over Mike Trout (in a Triple Crown season, no less).
As Cabrera has aged, he has also shown a desire to grow as a leader on the Tigers. He has been willing to play whichever infield position the team needs, be it first base or third base. The batting champ has also put his personal issues in the rearview mirror. With an eight-year extension just kicking in, Motor City baseball fans have to hope Cabrera’s quiet consistency continues.
Honorable Mention: Justin Verlander