With Suspension, Is Melky Cabrera Batting-Title Favorite?

Yes, suspended Melky Cabrera will finish the season with 501 plate appearances.

Yes, the cutoff for winning a batting title is 502 plate appearances.

So the batting title is safe, right?

Nope. As too many of us forgot in the heat of Wednesday's revelatory moment, there's a codicil. A loophole:

Yeah. The rules for such things, which do make sense, stipulate that when figuring a batting average for the purpose of figuring a batting titlist, we simply add the requisite number of at-bats to reach 502, which of course means adding just one AB to Melky Cabrera's record. If we do that, his batting average drop from .346 to ... .346.

Now, we should mention that Cabrera is not currently the National League leader in batting average. So is he really the favorite for the crown, as Todd suggests? Here are the current leaders:

McCutchen .358
Cabrera .346
J. Votto .342
B. Posey .330

With Joey Votto on the Disabled List and no timetable for his return, it seems highly unlikely that he'll play enough to finish with enough plate appearances. So cross him off the list. Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are both healthy and productive, though. So let's see where these guys are projected to finish, batting-average-wise, according to the ZiPS projections over at FanGraphs ...

Cabrera .346
McCutchen .342
B. Posey .323

The "problem", of course, is that neither McCutchen or Posey are supposed to keep hitting quite as well as they've been hitting; their pre-2012 performances just don't suggest they're quite as good as they've been this season. McCutchen's projected to hit just .301 the rest of the way, Posey .306. Of course the same would be true of Cabrera -- his season-ending "projection" is .336, with a .306 average the rest of the way -- except now history and regression to the mean and all those other nifty concepts are irrelevant. For better or worse, he's stuck at .346.

So yes, it's true: Melky Cabrera, despite being 12 points off the pace right now, probably is your most likely National League batting champion. And yes: Ugh. If you don't like it, root for good-guy Andrew McCutchen doubly hard.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Baseball Nation

You must be a member of Baseball Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baseball Nation. You should read them.

Join Baseball Nation

You must be a member of Baseball Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baseball Nation. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker