Miggy hits 3K! Where Miguel Cabrera ranks among MLB's 3,000-hit/500-home run club

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

It may feel inevitable that Miguel Cabrera got here, and with a single to right field in his first at-bat on Saturday afternoon, he became the 33rd member of the 3,000-hit club and just the seventh major leaguer with both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. After all, when he first signed with the Marlins in 1999, his $1.9 million bonus was a record for a Venezuelan player. At age 20, he hit cleanup in the 2003 World Series for the Marlins, who beat the Yankees in six games. In his first full season, he hit .294 with 33 home runs, and in the following season, he hit .323, the first of his 11 seasons over .300.

Of course, you don't project this kind of career for any player, no matter the talent, no matter the numbers he puts up at 21 years old. On the verge of joining Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez in the 3,000/500 club, Cabrera has combined the artistry of a singles hitter with the imposing persona of a slugger while adding enough longevity to still be playing at age 39.

At his best, he was the best hitter in the world, winning four batting titles in a five-year span from 2011 to 2015 while twice hitting 44 home runs. He won the Triple Crown in 2012 despite playing the final seven weeks on a sprained ankle that would have sent most players to the injured list. "You don't hit good pitches," he once said. "You hit mistakes." That hitting philosophy undersells his ability to constantly adjust to how pitches were trying to get him out; he always seemed one step ahead of them.

He hasn't been the Miguel Cabrera of his prime for a long time now -- he last hit .300 in 2016 -- and he's limped his way to both milestones. Still, he's now a member of one of the rarest, coolest groups in major league history. Let's compare the seven players in a few different hitting categories.