Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Joey Foto are three of the best hitters of our generation. All of them are future Hall of Famers. They are also aging veterans. The illustrious trio came together to play 58 senior league seasons, with the 38-year-old Futo of the group going. Cabrera is 39 years old, Pujols is 42 years old. Their cumulative experience is almost as remarkable as their phenomenal statistical achievements.
What does it look like to work with legends like Cabrera, Pujols, and Votto? I asked this question to their current coaches: Detroit’s Scott Culpo, St. Louis’ Jeff Albert, and Cincinnati’s Alan Zinter.
Scott Culpo on Miguel Cabrera
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be around someone as good as Meggie. He’s clearly the future of the Hall of Famer. Accomplishing the things he’s been able to do is amazing. I’ve obviously not met him in his entire career – only in the past few years – but the way with which he does his work, and the fun he has in the game… He’s still a little kid, even though he’s 39. He treats it like a toy. He has fun with it. He keeps it simple.
“Everyone is in awe of how pure a right-handed bat is, how clean his swing is. The things he can do with baseball, a lot of guys have worked hard to do just one time. He does it on a consistent basis. It makes you a better coach to be around someone than Like, to see how he does it, to hear what his thoughts are. To sit in a cage and talk to him… and sometimes it’s not even about hitting. It’s about how simple it is to keep the game.
“The bottom line is you can always learn from this game. If you’re closed minded and don’t want to learn all the time, the game just passes you by. Meiji keeps me occupied with some of the things he’s done and maybe try to help some of the younger players with it, especially on the part routine of it.and swing it clean like [it was] When he was at his best. He still shows it to this day, at the age of 39. But the conversations — the private conversations you have with him — about how he treats different types of shooters, what his thought process is, and things like that… it really helps you as a coach. ”
Jeff Albert on Albert Pujols
“It’s great. I very much appreciate the time together, and I value all of our interactions. He has that rare mix where when he talks, everyone listens, but at the same time he’s very relatable. Basically, he’s looking to get training. We’ll talk about it. [hitting] whether he plays or not. Whatever he’s working on, and whatever he’s feeling during the match, he’ll ask, “Hey, what did you see here?” This is whether he’s feeling good about something and trying to keep it, or he’s considering making an adjustment.
“It was really special to have that kind of interaction, to be with someone who has a job like him. His personality is almost made [the conversations] easier. He is very open and friendly. He has a very interactive demeanor with everyone, the other players, and the crew. He’s basically a uniformed coach.
“With all the experience he has, we can talk about something and maybe he can pronounce it to the player in a different way. He can facilitate communication between the device and the players. For example, he will be very candid in hitters meetings when we talk about the opponent bowler. He is very smart about what he sees. He “Hey, that would be my style. That’s what I would try to do against this guy. That’s what I see. Like I said, when someone has this kind of experience, and is successful for a long time, they say things and people listen.”
Alan Zenter on JoyPhoto
“He’s definitely someone who’s been through many years, and has had a lot of success at that level. It’s really cool just listening to him speak. Sometimes you really need to pay attention, because it’s not that common, vocabulary comes out of his mouth.”
“It’s really cool to see how intense he is, how dedicated he is, how focused, how serious he is in everything he does. It’s not common. Everyone is serious, but he takes it to a degree that you don’t see. He has his way of how he sees the ball, how his body moves, and when Other, his vocabulary… I mean, everyone is different. It’s really cool to hear how he talks about hitting.
“He’s not there to preach, but he’s very attentive. He’ll extend a helping hand to another player, like Jonathan India. It’s great how he goes about expressing himself. It’s not like he’s going out there and saying, ‘That’s how you do it.’ He doesn’t. He knows that everyone is different. Everyone is an individual. And he is different. There is no one like him.”