Making the Grade: Ranking First Basemen in the AL Central

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No. 2: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Jun 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits an RBI double in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Miguel Cabrera is getting the LeBron James treatment. That is, he has been so good for so long that we have been spoiled. If he does not produce Triple Crown numbers every season, we are no longer impressed.

Or, perhaps, Cabrera really has slipped to number two on this list.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan has been hampered by a number of injuries over the last two seasons and he has been slowed by a stress fracture in his ankle again this spring. When he is healthy, Cabrera is the most prolific offensive player in the game.

But he’s not.

Entering his 13th professional season, Cabrera saw a pretty significant decrease in production last season. His average was 35 points down (.348 in 2013, .313 in 2014) and his power numbers – at least in terms of home runs – fell from 44 to 25.

With another injury creeping up already, Cabrera may again experience a drop in his power numbers. He seemed to have an inability to drive the ball at times in 2014 and, with another lower body injury, there is little reason to believe that will not be the case again.

The sudden fall is cause for minor concern, just as it was with Albert Pujols in 2013. But Pujols rebounded tremendously last season. If Cabrera follows suit, he could very well reclaim his seat at the top of the division.

Next: No. 1