If you didn't know better, you'd think Miguel Cabrera was talking about one of his teammates. A veteran utility player, perhaps, or maybe a promising young rookie.

"He brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse," Cabrera said, breaking into a big grin as his eyes lit up. "He loves to play the game so much and be around the guys. I think he's a big part of the team. "

Only he's the littlest of big leaguers, as it turns out. He's the 7-year-old son of designated hitter Victor Martinez — Victor Jose — who in his first season in Detroit already has become a clubhouse fixture, not unlike Al Kaline and Willie Horton in his own way.

"He's the best, man. He really is," third baseman Brandon Inge said. "He's the most mature 7-year-old I've ever seen in my life. I'm not kidding. You put him in a 25-year-old's body and you'd think he's just another player."