The Detroit Tigers’ third baseman, Miguel Cabrera, has officially been named the American League 2012 Most Valuable Player. With 22 of 28 first ballot votes, Cabrera beat out fellow MVP contender and rookie outfielder, Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels by 81 points.
Since August, many baseball fans, writers, and various other experts, have argued on who should be most deserving of the title. The argument came down to the recognition of the old school basics of tracking a player’s stats with batting average, home runs, and RBI's. On the other hand there is the new school way of grading players with sabermetrics such as base runs, on-base slugging percentage, runs created, and dozens more. In the end Miguel won with the old school fashion, and it was historical too.
For the first time in 45 years, since Carl Yastrzemski posted a .326 batting average with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown. For the 2012 regular season Cabrera posted an A.L. best .330 batting average with 44 home runs and 139 RBI's. The fact that no one in professional baseball has completed this feat for more than four decades was Cabrera’s best argument to earn the MVP title.
Even though it’s been decided, a lot of fans and sports writers will claim that the award should’ve gone to Mike Trout. It’s true that Trout did have an incredible season, he lead the A.L. in runs scored and stolen bases, he had a .326 batting average, 30 home runs, was named A.L. Rookie of the Year, all at the age of 21. Perhaps in the future, the statistics associated with sabermetrics will have more of a deciding effect on yearly awards, considering they are already widely used in scouting and evaluating players on each team.
Cabrera is the ninth Tiger to earn the A.L. MVP, and takes it over from teammate and starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who won it last year along with the Cy Young award. Also noteworthy, the first ever MVP award, then known as the Chalmers Award, was given to Tiger great, Ty Cobb, in 1911. Also on the MVP ballot was Tigers' Justin Verlander who finished eighth with 58 total points, and first baseman Prince Fielder in ninth place with 56 points.
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