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Cabrera, Trout likely finish 1-2 in MVP vote again
October 8, 2013 - Andy Heintz
For my next installment of the Major League Baseball postseason awards, I will look at American League Most Valuable Player. There are four candidates who should gobble up most of the votes but it’s really a two-man race for the top spot. And if I have my say, it will be the same top two players from 2012, in the same order.
Has there been a better hitter in baseball the past five years? This Detroit Tiger is re-writing the record books. Coming off a Triple Crown, MVP year in 2012, Cabrera arguably had a better year in 2013. His .348 batting average and .442 on base percentage and 1.078 OPS led Major League Baseball. He also was second in the majors in home runs with 44 and RBIs with 137 and struck out just 94 times.
It was a breakout year for this Baltimore Oriole but not even his MLB-best 53 home runs and 138 RBIs could lead the Orioles to the playoffs. That will hurt him in the voting. He only hit .286 and his on base percentage was .370. He trailed only Cabrera in OPS at 1.004 but fanned 199 times.
Trout’s rookie year was fantastic. He arguably had a better year than Cabrera and did not stop this year. His game is different than both Cabrera and Davis but he still managed to hit 27 home runs and drive in 97 runs, which both ranked around the top 10. He was third in the league with a .323 batting average and finished first in walks (110), second in OBP (.432) and third in OPS (.988). He also scored an American League-high 109 runs and stole 33 bases, which ranked in the top 10.
The Red Sox revival was due in large part to a much-improved pitching staff. But you can’t overlook what their longest tenured players – Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia -- did this season. Ortiz blasted 30 home runs, drove in 103 runs, struck out just 88 times and batting .309. His on OBP was a respectable .395 and his OPS hit .959.
Winner -- Cabrera. I want to give this award to Trout this year. The only reason I liked Cabrera last year over Trout was because of the Triple Crown factor. Trout is such a good baseball player but like Davis, Trout’s season did not put the Angels into the playoffs. Cabrera was one RBI off the MLB lead and probably would have hit more than 50 home runs had he not missed some time due to injuries. The Tigers struggled at times this year at the plate and without Cabrera they may have not made the playoffs.
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