The debate began last night and will carry on for sometime until one person is chosen. The term debate means a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward. So there will be one person who says one thing and another person who disagrees and view points will be exchanged. To me this is a waste of time. We already know who is going to win, or at least who should win this debate.
Don’t worry this is not a political blog and I will not discuss what I watched for 1.5 hours yesterday but instead this is a presentation as to why Miguel Cabrera is the MVP of the American League. This is about baseball in case you didn’t know.
Last night Cabrera accomplished a feat no other person has reached in 45 years. Think about that. For most of you reading this that means it has never happened in your lifetime, and that includes me. The last time a baseball player won the Triple Crown was 1967 and that was Carl Yastremski with the Boston Red Sox. The Triple Crown categories are batting average, home runs and runs batted in. This mean that Miguel Cabrera had the highest batting average to go along with the most home runs and runs batted in of any player in the American League.
He not only did the hitting but his team, the Detroit Tigers, are going to the playoffs. They are a very good team but they had to keep winning because the Chicago White Sox were ahead of them in the standings up until about a month ago. Had the Tigers not clinched a playoff berth then there would be the opportunity for a discussion but really there isn’t one.
There are pundits out there talking about Mike Trout for MVP. I don’t get it. The guy had a tremendous year but his team did not make the playoffs and obviously Cabrera had better offensive statistics. Some will point to his play in the outfield and robbing home runs on a nightly basis. How about the fact that Cabrera moved from playing 1st Base to 3rd Base this season and given no chance to succeed?
Miguel Cabrera also finished with the highest slugging percentage in all of baseball. So the guy not only got on base because he had the highest batting average and 6th highest on-base percentage but he crushed the ball as proven by having the highest slugging percentage. The only real place that Mike Trout can claim victory is in stolen bases where he had 45 compared to Cabrera’s 4. To me that makes Cabrera’s season even all the more outstanding. The guy cannot run and so all of his hits were solid base hits with very little to no infield hits. He wasn’t going to beat out a throw to first base whereas Trout could.
So now that you know that I think there is no debate to be had about the American League MVP, let’s discuss the National League MVP. This topic has a lot more legs for a debate. There are two finalists, in my opinion, for this award and they are Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Braun led Posey in the categories of hits, home runs, runs, runs batted in, stolen bases and slugging percentage. Posey beat Braun in batting average, on-base percentage and they tied for Wins Above Replacement (baseball nerd term.) So who do you choose? I think it comes down to the team at this point. The Brewers finished 14 games out of first place while the Giants won their division by 8 games.
Winning to me is a very good indication of how valuable you are to your team and for that reason I think Posey is the National League MVP but it is not as clear-cut as Cabrera. Points could be made that Braun led in more categories but then people can point out that Posey is a catcher and thus plays a more demanding position and is involved in every single pitch of a game.
When you boil it all down you have to look at which player meant the most to his team. Could the Brewers have finished 14 games out of 1st place without Braun? Of course. Could the Giants have finished in 1st place without Posey? Highly unlikely considering the type of stats that he had. Posey also had the higher fielding percentage of the two although not by much, but this shows that he was not all offensive.
So there you have it. Let the debates end today and award the Most Valuable Player honors to Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey.
Who Gets Your Vote For Most Valuable Player?