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Apr 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits a double in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera: How long can you wait on Tigers' slugger?

In terms of fantasy baseball disappointments to start the 2014 season, none may be bigger than that of Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera.

While others may have gotten off to slower starts to the season, considering the fact that Cabrera was either taken with the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick, his struggles have been magnified.

Apr 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) watches his home run during the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The question that remains is how long can you afford to wait on Cabrera?

My answer is be patient. Miggy will be fine.

While I must say that it is unthinkable to see Cabrera sitting with a .235 batting average and only a pair of homers on April 23, there are some signs of his struggles that realistically can’t continue.

The first of which is he is striking out at a 21.6 percent clip, which is higher than at any other point in his career.  Cabrera is likely just pressing a bit and that number should come back down to reality.

Next is his 44 percent ground ball rate is extremely elevated. That’s also something that should get back in line with his career numbers.

Finally his .280 BABIP is well below his career .335 number, which should also increase.

While his OPS of  .648  is even lower than the .729 mark he posted last September when he was dealing with a groin tear, I still expect Cabrera to be in line with all his career numbers by season’s end.

One problem that dates back to last September is Cabrera’s swing and miss percentage.

Cabrera is seeing the highest percentage of pitches in the strike zone (51.4 percent) of his career, and he has not been taking advantage of it.  He also has been taking far more strikes than we are accustomed to seeing.

Fantasy owners can take comfort in knowing that Cabrera has gone through stretches like this before, and he’s always come out them as a more aggressive and more powerful hitter.

The only number I am truly worried about right now with Cabrera is his .159 well-hit average, meaning that he has made hard contact in approximately only 16 percent of his at-bats.

There was some good news though as Cabrera was able to pick things up offensively Tuesday, going 3-for-5 with one double, one home run and three RBI in his team’s 8-6 win over the White Sox.

My suggestion would be to be patient with Cabrera as he is too good to not pick things up.  Sometimes the game of baseball has a funny way of humbling even the greatest of players.

However if you don’t own Cabrera, I would look to try and acquire him now as many of his owners are likely in panic mode.

Buy low on him now and you could be reaping the benefits by season’s end.

Tags: Detroit Tigers Fantasy Baseball Miguel Cabrera

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