Sep/19/12 08:12 AM Filed in: Ryan Braun
As Miguel Cabrera or Ryan Braun vie for MVP honors in their respective leagues, it’s a good time to ask the question: Who’s the better hitter?
Cabrera leads the majors with a .992 OPS, three percentage points ahead of Braun, who is second at the moment. Cabrera has an edge in average, at .330 to .312. Braun holds the lead in power, with 40 homers to 38. Cabrera has scored 96 runs, Braun 95.
So based on their numbers, it’s a tough call.
Based on observing the two hitters from the on-deck circle, it’s not much easier. Ask Prince Fielder. He hit behind Braun with the Brewers before signing with the Tigers, where he now hits behind Cabrera.
“Both are different but they get similar results,” Fielder said recently. “I don’t look at them as power hitters but as great hitters with power. Both hit for average, drive in runs and hit for power.”
Yes, but who’s better? Fielder didn’t directly answer the question, but you can judge for yourself based on two insights. One has to do with approach, the other with ballparks.
— “Miguel has more of a contact hitter’s swing, which is unbelievable because of how much power he has,” Fielder said. “That makes him much more dangerous than a lot of people in baseball. It’s almost like he can manipulate a single as well as a home run or a ball hit to the bap. Whatever he feels like doing, he can do.” Indeed, Cabrera has struck out 30 fewer times than Braun, 118-88.
— “To do what Miguel has done in Comerica Park isn’t easy,” Fielder said. “That’s a big credit to be able to do the kind of things he does in a park that wasn’t made for hitting as far as power goes.”
Comerica has yielded 143 homers this season, 14th most in the majors. Miller Park has given up 208 homers, which was tied with U.S. Cellular Field for most in the majors going into the week.