This writer is voting for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout for the AL MVP…PERIOD. Why? Let the debate continue!
Regardless of how far the Detroit Tigers go in the play-offs, Trout’s accomplishments, in less at bats than Miguel Cabrera, warrant this consideration based on the total player picture.
Mike Trout: .326, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 129 RS, 49 SB.
Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera: .330, 44 HR, 139 RBI, 109 RS, 4 SB.
Let’s face it, ANY player who wins the Triple Crown has to be an All-Star caliber player, but the award itself is more a product of opportunity and the performance of the team around the player than the accomplishment of the actual player himself. Simply, a player can’t amass a number of RBIs without players hitting in front of him getting on base.
So looking at the offensive numbers where individual merits are at play.
Cabrera’s slugging percentage is 42 pts higher than Trout. (.606 vs. .564).
Trout’s on-base percentage is 6 points better than Cabrera’s (.399 vs. .393).
Trout stole 49 bases to Cabrera’s 4!
So combining products of individual accomplishment, (home runs and stolen bases), Trout has a 31 pt advantage.
Additionally, Cabrera has hit into 21 more double plays in essence ending more scoring opportunities for his team than Trout.
Finally in terms of TOTAL opportunities, lets look at something that most sports writers RARELY in EVER take into consideration when casting MVP votes: DEFENSE.
Trout is an EXCEPTIONAL centerfielder and Cabrera is adequate at 3B at best.
In 2012 Trout leaped over the wall stealing at least 5 homeruns from opposing teams.
Wins above replacement takes defense into consideration. Fangraphs ranks Trout at 10.3 vs. Cabrera’s 7.3
The little known statistic asserts Trout was directly responsible for 3 more wins than Cabrera.
I’m not a Tigers hater by any means and tip my cap to Miggy for his accomplishments and for his very unselfish act of moving back to 3B so the Tigers could sign Prince Fielder. The debate could be made in both directions, but I believe if you take into consideration the total baseball product of the player, the numbers speak for themselves.
Soxman is a journalist and local sports celebrity covering Chicago Sports and pop culture events. He’s a frequent guest on local news programs and super fan of the Chicago White Sox. You can find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter: @thesoxman72