Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was supposed to be the Giants' big offseason acquisition that was going to help revitalize a struggling offense. Despite fans' speculations that Melky had just had a career year in 2011 with the Kansas City Royals and that he wouldn't be able to continue his hot hitting, he seems to have proven everyone wrong. He is currently batting .355, leading the league with 102 hits and seven triples, and while his power numbers seem to be down a bit from last year - nothing unexpected playing at AT&T Park -- he is still leading the charge offensively for the Giants.
Cabrera has been a special player for the Giants and has been the central piece to their offense. He's come to the team and started breaking records without even blinking. Let's take a look at some of what Cabrera has done to earn a spot in Giants' history - and how he could continue to do so:
San Francisco Record for Most Hits in May
When your name gets mentioned alongside Willie Mays, you know you're doing something right. Well, in the month of May, Cabrera broke Mays' record of 49 hits, finishing the month with a total of 51 hits. It was one of the greatest feats of hitting I had seen in a while and to make it even more incredible, he was hit-less in four of the team's 29 games that month.
San Francisco Record for Most Hits in Any Month
Along with that singular month, he tied former Giants' outfielder Randy Winn for the most hits in any given month of a season. The 51 hits seemed to happen so quickly, as Melky was completely locked in when in at the plate. He also led the league in multi-hit games and triples at the end of the month - he still leads the league in triples (tied with Dexter Fowler and Starlin Castro).
San Francisco Record Fewest PAs for 100 Hits
Another Willie Mays record that Cabrera has surpassed was how few PAs it took to reach 100 hits in a season. In 1958, it took Mays 295 plate appearances to reach 100 hits, while Cabrera needed 291 - breaking yet another one of Mays' record with the San Francisco Giants.
Fourth Giants' Outfielder to Start All-Star Game
Since 1933, when the All-Star Game was first played, the Giants have had numerous representations in the Midsummer Classic. However, in those 79 years of All-Star Games only three outfielders have ever been selected to start in Giants' franchise history. They include, Mel Ott, Kevin Mitchell, and Barry Bonds. If Melky Cabrera holds his current spot until voting ends, he will become the fourth outfielder in franchise history to start in the All-Star Game.
San Francisco Record for Batting Average in a Season
While Cabrera was a bit closer - and even ahead of the mark at the end of May - Barry Bonds holds the mark for highest batting average in a single season in San Francisco Giants' team history. His .370 batting average in 2002 still stands and Cabrera could feasibly eclipse it before season's end. Even though he's cooled off considerably since his hot May, he is still swinging the bat well. If anything, he could end up second all-time ahead of Dan Gladden who hit .351 in 1984. In actuality, it is the Giants' franchise record, that won't be touched this season - or anytime soon - as Bill Terry hit .401 in 1930.
Food for thought: What has Melky Cabrera meant to the San Francisco Giants this season? Is it too soon to think about, or should the Giants try and lock him with with some sort of long-term deal (say three or four years)?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
Baseball-Reference.com. Melky Cabrera Stats. MLB 2012.
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