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Miggy & the Prince

Posted by John Autin
There will be no shortage of talk about the size of the contract Detroit gave to Prince Fielder ... not to mention the size of the player himself. But for the moment, let's look at teams that have had two hitters as good as Fielder and Miguel Cabrera.

Among all MLB hitters over the past 3 seasons, Cabrera and Fielder rank #2 and #5(t) in OPS+:

Rk Player OPS+ Age R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Albert Pujols 171 29-31 344 542 113 2 126 352 279 .313 .409 .598 1.007 *3/5D
2 Miguel Cabrera 167 26-28 318 575 127 1 102 334 265 .332 .421 .583 1.005 *3/D
3 Joey Votto 161 25-27 289 513 114 6 91 300 271 .318 .418 .565 .983 *3
4 Adrian Gonzalez 156 27-29 285 542 105 5 98 317 286 .306 .403 .536 .940 *3/D9
5-T Jose Bautista 155 28-30 268 382 72 8 110 267 288 .269 .397 .564 .962 *9/57D83
5-T Prince Fielder 155 25-27 292 498 96 4 116 344 331 .287 .409 .547 .956 *3/D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/25/2012.

So I looked at player-seasons with at least a 150 OPS+. (Min. 3.1 PAs per team game.

Since 1893, there have been 926 such seasons -- an average of 6 per year in a 16-team MLB, or 12 per year in a 30-team MLB.

Less than 6% of all teams have had 2 such hitters (or more) in a season: 136 of 2,394.

Twenty-five pairs (or trios) of hitters had multiple 150+ years for the same team, with a total of 66 years from such teammates. In reverse date order:

Players
Team
Years
Postseason
Red Sox
Cardinals
1 pennant,
+ 1 division
Astros
1 division
Mariners
1 division
Mariners
1 wild card
Cleveland
1 pennant
+ 1 div
ision
A's
1 WS
Orioles
2 WS
+ 1 pennant
Giants
Giants
Yankees
1 WS
+ 1 pennant
Braves
1 WS
Dodgers
1 WS
+ 1 pennant
Red Sox
Giants
A's
2 WS
Yankees
3 WS
+ 1 pennant
Tigers
Tigers
A's
1 WS
+ 1 pennant
Tigers
3 pennants
Cleveland
Pirates
2 pennants
Phillies
Phillies
Note: There are 47 unique individuals in the table; 8 players made the list more than once: 3 times by Ty Cobb, and twice each by Alex RodriguezEd DelahantyEdgar MartinezElmer FlickJimmie FoxxOrlando Cepeda, and Willie Mays.

Postseason summary:
  • 29 teams made the postseason, or won the Pennant when there was no formal postseason (44%).
  • 12 won the World Series (18%). Adding the 6 who won Pennants but had no WS, that means 18 of the 66 teams were MLB champions (27%) ... but none since 1973.
  • 6 won the Pennant, but lost the WS.
  • 6 won the Pennant, but had no WS.
  • 4 won their division, but lost before the WS.
  • 1 won the wild card and a playoff series, but lost in the LCS.
  • 37 teams missed the postseason (56%).

Of course, there's no guarantee that the 2012 Tigers will join this company; Cabrera has reached the 150 OPS+ plateau in 5 of his 8 full seasons, Fielder 3 of 6. But their combined average over the past 3 seasons is over 160 OPS+. And the Tigers were a pretty good team before adding Fielder.

What do you think of Detroit's chances in the next few years to win their first championship since 1984?

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