With the playoffs beginning this weekend, the MVP will be determined this weekend as well. Of course, the winner won’t be revealed for a few more weeks, but time for contenders to add the final touches to their cases is running out.
However, there are just two players in the running for the MVP. But while there’s just two, the choice is as hard as it could possibly be.
Here are my final American League MVP rankings:
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Either you’re a Mike Trout supporter or a Miguel Cabrera supporter at this point in the season. Whatever side you choose support, Cabrera has separated himself from the rest of the pack with his summer heroics. He hit .344/.409/.677 in July with nine home runs. In August he took another step up, hitting .357/.429/.663/ with eight home runs. And in September he hit .308/.378/.654 with ten home runs.
More simply put, he has stepped up when the Tigers have needed him most. Since September 10th, Detroit is 14-7 and in the process, they’ve won the A.L Central after trailing the White Sox for the majority of the season. During that span, Cabrera hit north of .300 with eight home runs and 20 plus RBIs.
Sound like an MVP?
And the big elephant in the room is the fact that Cabrera’s en route to capture the coveted triple crown award. He leads the A.L in average with a .329 mark, RBIs (137), and after hitting his 44th home run of the year Monday night, he leads the A.L in home runs as well.
While the newly discovered advanced statistics have Trout as a better all-around player represented by his 10.3 WAR, a major league best, winning the triple crown will surely overshadow any stat out there given the rarity of anyone winning it. Plus, even if he’s overtaken in one of those three categories, the Tigers are headed to the playoffs, and the Angels aren’t after being eliminated Monday night.
Therefore, Miguel Cabrera is your 2012 A.L MVP winner.
2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
If there’s a better second choice care to inform me. But I highly doubt that there is a clearer selection. So bare with me.
The thing that Trout has working in his favor is the fact that he brings the complete package. By that I mean offense, defense, and base running. In retrospect, Cabrera only does one of those three things well, the one obviously being offense.
Outside of the offense side, he has been a liability on defense. His UZR/150 of -10.6 is last among A.L third baseman, and he adds virtually no value to the Tigers on the base paths with only four stolen bases. In comparison, Trout has swiped 48 bases and boasts a 13.5 UZR/150. So basically, that’s two variables of the equation that Trout holds over his fellow competitor.
Plus, Trout’s numbers are quite solid. Don’t forget the fact that he didn’t get called up until late April and his numbers could still qualify for someone who has played an entire season, particularly in the leadoff role.
He’s owns a triple slash of .325/.398/.564, to accompany his 30 home runs and 83 RBIs. As aforementioned, he leads the majors with a 10.3 WAR and 48 stolen bases. It’s the rare combination of speed, defense, and incredible production from the plate that makes Trout such an exciting force. More importantly, it makes him standout to the voters.
And a little side note to that—no player has ever finished a season with a .320 batting average, 50 stolen bases, and 30 home runs. To be the first, Trout must maintain his current batting average and steal two more bases over his next two games. If he does that, then he has something historical to add to his case too. Although, Cabrera’s triple crown certainly looks a bit better.
3. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
Admit it, Beltre has flown under the radar this year. Obviously Cabrera and Trout get most of the headlines, and deservingly so, but the Rangers’ third baseman has quietly been crafting his MVP case at the hot corner. With that said, he stands a very slim chance at actually winning the award.
Beltre’s overall numbers have soared thanks to a big August and a big September. More specifically, he hit .333 in August along with seven home runs and 21 RBIs. He carried that production into September by hitting 11 home runs backed by 19 RBIs. In total, he owns a .319/.357/.563 triple slash, 36 home runs, and 101 RBIs.
Beltre doesn’t even get the headlines on the local reports with Josh Hamilton receiving all the jabber. But rest assured Beltre fans, your third baseman has certainly put together one heck of a season that would be rewarded if it wasn’t for Cabrera and Trout.