Friday, October 5, 2012
Who should win the AL MVP? Trout or Cabrera?
This past week there has been a huge debate brewing and no I'm not talking about the presidential election. Instead I'm talking about the American League MVP race which comes down to two historic seasons featuring Los Angeles Angels 20 year old rookie center fielder Mike Trout. The other is Al Central Champion Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera has won the triple crown for the first time since Carl Yastrzemski won it back in 1967 for the Boston Red Sox. Trout became the first player in baseball history to hit 30 HR's, score 125+ runs and steal 45+ bases in a single season. Both guys in a normal year would run away with the MVP and this MVP either way will be controversial to a significant number of people. In this following post I'll talk about why each guy deserves to win the MVP then will make my conclusion.
In a normal year or perhaps even five years ago Cabrera runs away with the MVP by winning the triple crown and leading his team to the postseason. Cabrera won the triple crown which is historical but his season isn't historical just happened when baseball was down. Still Cabrera has now won back to back batting crowns, has finished in the top 5 of the MVP race five times including a runner up in 2010. Another reason people are pulling for him because he has "paid his dues" while Trout has the rest of his career to win many MVP's.
Trout also posted a 10.7 WAR which lead baseball and is higher than Cabrera's 6.9 WAR(which is second on his own team behind Verlander). Trout's WAR tied for 16th in a single season since 1950. WAR for those who don't know is wins above replacement level(think quadruple A guys). If you are a 0-2 WAR player player you are a bench guy, if you are a 2-4 WAR you are a starter, if you are a 5-7 WAR you are an all-star(where Cabrera falls in) and if you are an 8.0+ WAR you are an MVP which is where Trout falls into. The game between Trout and Cabrera is the same gap as a good starter vs a triple A guy think about that.
This MVP is going to get people riled up. It is basically the new age SABR crowd vs the old school crowd. The baseball writers all say Trout while the former players are saying Cabrera. If you are under the age of 35 you are saying Trout, if you are older you are saying Cabrera. Both had terrific seasons but Trout's season was the better season. Trout is the better defender and much better base runner while almost being equal to Cabrera minus RBI's. As you know RBI's is a stat more dependent where you bat in the order and your teammates. Bottom line this AL 2012 MVP vote is going to be remembered for years just don't get caught up in the triple crown. Trout had a better historical MVP season that is why he is the MVP of the American League if I had a vote.