After many weeks of debating between baseball analysts and writers on who deserves the 2012 Major League Baseball’s AL MVP award, fellow Venezolano, Miguel Cabrera, can now officially add the Most Valuable Player award to his trophy case. Just recently, Cabrera also won the prestigious Triple Crown award, which is earned when a player leads the league in batting average (BA), runs batted in (RBI), and home runs (HR). This feat was last accomplished by left fielder, Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
By receiving 22 out of 28 first place votes and 362 points from the baseball writers’ Association of America, Cabrera also known as “Miggy”, easily beat AL Rookie of the Year phenom, Mike Trout, who received 6 first place votes and 281 points overall. Other notable Latino players, like Adrian Beltre, finished third with 210 points while, Robinson Cano took fourth place with 149 points. Cabrera also accomplished another feat by becoming the first Venezolano to ever win the honor.
In comparing Cabrera’s offensive numbers with Trout’s, Cabrera had a batting average of .330, 44 home runs, 139 RBI’s, and an OPS average of .999. Trout on the other hand, had a batting average of .326, 30 home runs, 83 RBI’s, and an OPS average of .963.
Even though Cabrera statistically had better numbers than Trout in all of the categories measured in traditional statistics, other baseball analysts and more modern statisticians disagreed when taking into consideration other measurements. For example, Trout led the majors with 129 runs, 49 stolen bases and a WAR of 10.7 (Wins Above Replacement), while Cabrera had a WAR of 6.9, 4 stolen bases, and 109 runs, well behind Trout.
For those of you who are wondering what WAR is, according to ESPN, WAR summarizes a player’s all-around contributions to his team in one statistic. In other words, the statistic does not solely take batting into consideration, but also base-running and defense. WAR also weighs contributions in terms of their impact on creating runs and preventing runs through defense.
By taking into consideration the other statistics, proponents for Trout had a legitimate reason to name him AL MVP too since he was a superior all around player.
In the end, traditional statistics defeated new measurements, crowning Cabrera the victor. Even though the newer statistics did not win this time, there will be a time when WAR, stolen bases, and runs will decide the future MVPs in baseball.