I’ve been having this argument on Twitter for like a week now. Truth be told its hard to convince the idiots supporting Miguel Cabrera 140 characters at a time, so I’m gonna do it here. Now I know this is Barstool so I’m not gonna get all sabermetric-y on you. I won’t talk about WAR and shit like that. Just basic baseball analysis will still lead to you to Mike Trout as the MVP. I understand most of you are in football mode and don’t care, or if you have any baseball knowledge this is a no brainer so this read may be redundant as countless writers have already made these points. But if you’re a Stoolie and you’re drinking the Miggy Triple Crown Kool Aid and wanna hear why you’re an idiot, keep reading
First lets go through the 3 main reasons why people want Miguel Cabrera to win:
1) He’s gonna win the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is awesome. Its a historically rare and quirky thing that is a nice achievement to throw on your resume. So is hitting for the cycle. Neither of them are statistically that important. The triple crown is made up of 3 stats – 1 is home runs. You can’t deny the importance of home runs, and Miggy obviously beats out Mike Trout in this department. 1 is batting average – a flawed and incomplete stat. And RBI – a pretty useless stat thats based on circumstance. Somewhere along the line back during like World War I people decided runs batted in was important and for some reason a hundred years later people still believe that. Bottom line is, RBIs are completely dependent upon your teammates and where you bat in the batting order. As are runs scored. Neither are a great statistic. Mike Trout bats lead off, Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the order. Cabrera probably sits atop the league in RBI opportunities, Mike Trout does not. Plain and simple Mike Trout could and would have the same RBI numbers if it wasn’t a completely circumstantial stat. As far as the batting average aspect A) the difference between the two is negligible and B) are we just going to ignore walks and reaching base in any other manner besides a hit? Mike Trout has a higher OBP than Cabrera.
At the end of the day, the Triple Crown is a nice achievement, but its just 3 arbitrary stats that were agreed upon to be considered a massive deal. There are other offensive categories that are just as important, and more important, than pieces of the triple crown. Also, just to point out the blatantly obvious – if Cabrera fell one or 2 RBI short or one home run away from the Crown, should be be considered any less valuable?
2) The Tigers are going to make the playoffs – therefore Miguel is more valuable: I think its completely ridiculous that this is even being considered. Baseball is the last sport on earth where team success should be used to evaluate a players worth. Yes, winning is the point of the game – thats why they give out hardware for the World Champions. As far as evaluating the MVP trophy, its just crazy to use that in your decision making process. One player cannot carry a team. There are a million different factors contributing to the Tigers winning the division that has nothing to do with Cabrera. But, for the sake of argument, lets discuss team success. The Tigers would be in 4th place in the AL West. The Angels have 89 wins, the Tigers 87. So now Mike Trout is being penalized for playing in a more competitive division? Miggy gets the award because he plays against the Royals and Twins and Indians all year? Yea. That makes sense. And to take it one step further the Angels were like 6-14 when they called up Trout. Team was an unmitigated disaster. Since his arrival they went 82-57. Again, I’m not saying I believe that you should attribute any of the teams success to one player, I’m just saying if you want to make that argument, Trout still beats out Cabrera
3) Miggy is the first to do “ABC” since “XYZ” – There’s a million of these going around. The first triple crown since Yaz in 1967. The big one last night was “Cabrera now has 201 H, 40 2B, 44 HR, 137 RBI. Numbers had been reached 3 times in history, twice by Gehrig and once by Ruth.” These are obviously tremendous accolades and great company, but they aren’t the end all be all. Trout could be the 3rd guy in history with 30 home runs and 50 stolen bases. He’s the only player ever with 30 HR, 45 SB and 125R. Someone on twitter argued with me last night “But the triple crown is a thing and Trout’s numbers are just numbers.” Because once collection of numbers is “a thing” and the others are not is the worst logic I’ve ever heard. Bottom line is there are dozens of these tidbits for both guys. You can pick arbitrary stats and historical reference points all day long for both these guys. They’ve had amazing yet different stats that are unparalled in a lot of ways.
Which brings me to my main point – offensively both of these guys are tremendously and equally valuable. Their value at the plate is very, very comprable. Trout higher OBP, Miggy higher OPS. Miggy more RBI, Trout more runs scored. Miggy higher slugging and power numbers gives him the overall edge at the plate, but the discrepancy isn’t that enormous. Where the discrepancy is enormous, is in the field and on the base paths. Mike Trout is a tremendous defender at a premium position and Miguel Cabrera is a fat statue sitting at 3rd base only because his team signed an even fatter guy who they needed to plop at first base. Mike Trout has 50 stolen bases and wreaked havoc on the base paths with his speed. Trout is so vastly superior in every other facet of the game besides standing at home plate with a bat in his hand, he more than makes up for the difference in home runs. By like, a lot. Its not like Mike Trout is a slap singles hitter. He’s got a very healthy 30 bombs to go along with his value everywhere else on the diamond.
Miguel Cabrera will win the MVP. The world is too enamored with the Triple Crown and making the playoffs. But if you value RBI over defense and base running, and you want to judge one player based on an entire pitching staff and batting order’s success, you just don’t know baseball. #TeamTrout.