One-on-One: Who should be the AL MVP?

Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera became the first triple crown winner (lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs) since Boston’s Carl Yastzemski in 1967.

He is the first player to complete a triple crown in 45 years, and only 11 players have earned the honor since 1900. Chew on that for a minute.

Yet we are still arguing who should be the MVP?

In the crucial month of September, Cabrera hit .308 with 10 HR and 27 RBI, compared to Trout’s .257 average with 6 HR, 20 RBI and 6 SB.

There’s an argument that Trout is a more complete player as he steals bases and plays fantastic defense. Well isn’t the point of stealing bases to put your team in a better place to score more runs? Because Cabrera has scored 109 runs and drove in another 139 after Tuesday’s games for a total of 248 runs produced. That’s much higher than Trout’s 212 runs produced.

Defensively, Trout is one of the best. But let’s not forget that Cabrera hasn’t played third base since 2008, and only switched over from first base to bring slugger Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers. And that type of sacrifice has helped the Tigers reach the postseason.

While Cabrera and the Tigers fight on for the World Series, Trout is stuck like the rest of us watching the AL MVP on TV.

-Bobby Nightengale

 

Mike Trout

What do the letters MVP stand for? Most valuable player. It doesn’t mean the best offensive player. If it did, Miguel Cabrera would win it without a doubt. Cabrera’s numbers are fantastic, but Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout has had the best season as a whole.

How do you measure value in baseball? Some statisticians do it using a stat called wins above replacement. If we look at this stat, Trout is much more valuable than Cabrera, with a 10.5 WAR, compared to 6.8 for Cabrera.

Before Trout was called up to the Angels, they had gotten off to a horrible start, at 6-14. Since Trout joined the team, the Angels have gone 82-57, the best record in baseball over that time. He provided a spark on that team and they haven’t looked back.

Also, if Cabrera wins the triple crown, it will be incredibly impressive, but it has been done before. Trout has already accomplished something no player in the history of baseball has. He is the only player to ever have 30 homers, 45 stolen bases and 125 runs scored.

If a player wins the triple crown but doesn’t win the MVP award, the player who wins it better have had a historically impressive season, and Trout has done that. Mike Trout should be the AL MVP.

-Aaron Wargo