The Duke Debates: AL MVP
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 23:10
Mike Trout may not have won the Triple Crown like Miguel Cabrera, but he had such an amazing season that it seems silly to not have him in the race for American League Most Valuable Player.
He started out his season in Utah for the Angels’ AAA team and showed promise with a fast bat. As a rookie this year, he had a .326 batting average, 30 home runs and 83 RBIs. Did I mention he’s only 21? Trout was better than some of the seasoned veterans in Major League Baseball. He was born to play baseball and demonstrated that throughout the entire season.
Trout had 49 stolen bases, nearly 50 if he hadn’t been caught by the Seattle Mariners infielders for only his fifth time this season trying to steal. It takes an insane amount of speed, patience and ability to pull that off. Cabrera may have dominated in statistical categories, but the MVP title relies on more than just impressive statistics.
To be an MVP, one must be a fantastic baseball player, which both are. Both have different strengths, but Trout has higher numbers than and closer numbers to Cabrera throughout his statistics. Trout has a an advantage of 45 stolen bases. Cabrera had 14 more home runs than Trout and 23 more hits, but Cabrera also had 63 more opportunities at bat than Trout and played throughout the entire month of April while Trout was called up towards the end of April.
What if Trout had those extra 63 at bats? What if he had played the entire season in the majors? He might have been closer to Cabrera’s numbers and picking an AL MVP may have been more clear-cut. Unfortunately, these “what if’s” must go unanswered as votes are cast.
Trout is fast. He was once clocked running at 17.38 miles per hour according to ESPN, and has the mind of a baseball player. He knows when to hit, when to let the ball whiz past him and when to try to steal a base. He has a baseball mind, one that doesn’t overthink things and showcases pure talent. If Trout isn’t MVP this time around, don’t count him out for seasons to come. He’ll keep growing and demonstrating his amazing abilities throughout his career in the major leagues.
While Cabrera looks like a clear-cut choice to many baseball fans, Trout’s lost time will continue to cast doubt. If he had spent the entire season in the majors, would Cabrera be such an obvious choice to fans? Trout has an opportunity to win AL MVP this year and for years to come. Trout is the next face of baseball and knows how to play a strong game. His work is enviable, his statistics admirable and his game different than most other ball players. His style works for Trout and it should win him the MVP crown as opposed to Cabrera.