Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera won his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award, beating out Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
One day after Cabrera’s teammate Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young award, given to the best pitcher in each league, Cabrera once again solidified his place as the best player in baseball.
For the last two years, the AL MVP award has been somewhat of a controversial topic of discussion. Some people feel that advanced statistics, or sabermetrics, should be the deciding factor in who wins the award.
If that were the case, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels would likely have won both times, but the voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) decided that Cabrera’s outstanding traditional numbers (homeruns, runs batted in, and batting average) made him the better candidate for the award.
Miggy hit 44 homeruns, drove in 137 RBI, and had a .348 batting average on his way to beating out Trout and Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, who finished second and third, respectively. He received 23 out of 30 first-place votes from members of the BBWAA.
Cabrera was hobbled by an injured groin for the last several weeks of the season, which had a significant impact on his performance, causing him to have a .278 batting average with seven runs batted in and only one homerun in September. After the playoffs, it was revealed that Miggy’s injury was serious and required him to undergo surgery.
Cabrera also recently won the Hank Aaron award, which is given to the best offensive player in each league, as voted on by fans and members of the media.
Not to be overshadowed is Scherzer’s accomplishment. He won 21 games, while losing only three, on his way to the American League Cy Young award.
His victory was not without controversy, though. The main argument that was made against Scherzer was that he had a lot of run support, which led to his great win-loss record. While he did have a lot of support, his other numbers (2.90 earned run average, and 240 strikeouts) made him more than worthy of the award.
Scherzer’s season began with 13 decisions, eventually sending him to the All Star Game as the American League starter.
Scherzer received 28 of 30 first-place votes, while teammate Anibal Sanchez and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox earned the other two.
He joins Justin Verlander (2011), Willie Hernandez (1984), and Denny McLain (1968,69) as the only Tigers pitchers to win the Cy Young.
Perhaps, with equally great seasons from Cabrera and Scherzer, next year the Tigers might finally win an elusive World Series trophy for the first time in 30 years.
For now, though, fans can celebrate two very big accomplishments of two very big players.
Photos via Detroit Tigers