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And the AL MVP goes to ...
November 15, 2012 - Andy Heintz
The American League MVP race will be the closest in history when the votes are tallied later today. And either way you look at it, you have two players who were clearly better than the rest. Do you like the long ball or do you like speed? That may be where you go with your vote in this one. Guys who did not make the cut but had super seasons this year include Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion and Derek Jeter. Here is my rundown of the American League Most Valuable Player…
3. Josh Hamilton
In any other season, what Hamilton did would likely earn him an MVP. The thing that cost him the award this year perhaps was the fact the he only batted .285 when the other two contenders were well above .300. Hamilton was second in the league in homers with 43 and second in the league in RBIs with 128. He also scored 103 runs and impacts the Texas Rangers offense in big ways.
2. Mike Trout
I went with power over speed obviously, but what Mike Trout did as a rookie was remarkable. He led the league in runs with 129 and stolen bases with 49 but also had 30 home runs. He trailed only my MVP in batting average at .326 but also only finished with 83 RBIs and had a lower slugging percentage and OPS than Miguel Cabrera. Throw in the fact that he struck out 40 more times and the decision to put him second makes a little more sense.
1. Miguel Cabrera
Two words: Triple Crown. That hasn’t been done in my lifetime and was once thrown around like it was supposed to be a common occurrence. However, it just doesn’t happen so when a guy hits that milestone, to me he has to be MVP. The triple crown means he led the league in all three major offensive categories with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs. He also only struck out 98 times and still eclipsed the 100-run mark with 109 runs and he doesn’t lead off like Trout. Only one other player in the majors besides Cabrera had more than 200 hits – and it wasn’t Trout -- and his slugging percentage reached .600 and the OPS was one point off of 1.000.
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