Detroit's Cabrera Is Not The Only Slugging Miguel In The American League

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When a player dominates your team for over ten years, the best advice to heed would be a slightly different version of an old adage. For the Minnesota Twins it has translated to "If you can't beat him, sign him."
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, affectionately known by millions of adoring fans as Miggy, has owned the Twins since he entered the American League back in 2003. The former Most Valuable Player and Triple Crown winner has taken Minnesota for forty home runs and 138 runs batted in, the most against any team other than the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera has also maintained a .318 career batting average against the Twins, the highest against any of the division rivals in the A.L. Central.
Minnesota might finally have provided a viable answer to Cabrera by signing a player who shares many characteristics of Cabrera, including his first name. In fact, Miguel Sano could actually qualify to carry the nickname Miggy II.
In addition to the name, the two men have similar physical traits. Both stand at six feet and four inches, and Cabrera weighs in at 240 while Sano began the season at 250.
Now in his third season with the Twins, Miguel Sano appears to be on a similar career path to the future Hall of Fame inductee. Both men came up through the minors as third basemen, which is where they spent their rookie seasons before being shuffled to the outfield for their sophomore years.
Both men returned to the hot corner the following season, but Cabrera eventually ended up at first base. Many baseball officials predict that Sano himself will at some point switch to first as well.
If you go back to the onset of Cabrera's impressive career, you will find that his numbers for the first three years are very much like those Sano has produced so far. As a member of the World Series champion Florida Marlins during his rookie year, Miggy hit .268 with twelve home runs in 2003.
Getting his first taste of the Big Leagues with the Twins in 2015, Sano hit one point higher (.269) and clobbered six more home runs (18 total). Cabrera showed more improvement in his sophomore year, where Sano suffered a small decline in 2016 while playing for the team with the worst record in all of baseball.
Already in 2017 the two Miguels have faced off, when the Twins went to Detroit for a three game series in the second week of the season. The Tigers took the first two games, in which both Sano and Cabrera were rather quiet.
In game three, however, the two players provided solid evidence for why they are considered to be similar hitters. Cabrera slugged a home run in the first inning to start the scoring, but the younger Miguel topped that just a few innings later. With the Twins clinging to a lead of the smallest margin, Sano crushed a three run home run for the key hit that led to a five spot inning for Minnesota.
That contest closed the first series between the teams of the two sluggers, but they will meet fifteen more times this season. Fans should be tuning in to watch the veteran Miggy continue his remarkable career, while also see a younger Miggy emerging into what could become a Most Valuable Player.
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