Just when we thought baseball’s “statistical revolution” was gaining ground, Miguel Cabrera pops up and stops it in its tracks.
On Thursday, Miguel Cabrera won the 2012 AL MVP, receiving 22 out of 28 first place votes. Mike Trout finished second, garnering the remaining 6 first place votes. Cabrera beat out Trout in overall points 362 to 281.
I’m not going to go into why Trout deserves the award over Cabrera (by all means, Cabrera had an outstanding season) as it has been widely discussed, but today’s voting is unfortunate for baseball.
As far as I can tell, a majority of writers and fans are very far behind front offices in statistical analysis. With stats such as RBI’s and wins prevailing dominantly in this year’s awards voting, baseball seems to have taken a step back in terms of evaluating performance.
Nobody can be shocked about Cabrera winning the award, but it is odd how little support Trout got. One writer even put Trout in 3rd on his ballot, favoring the much less “valuable” Adrian Beltre. Either way, both Trout and Cabrera had phenomenal seasons. Trout very well could have multiple MVP’s in his future, but he will always be tied to the 2012 AL MVP race, which will go down as one of the most infamous baseball debates of all time.
Other AL MVP ballot thoughts:
- Yoenis Cespedes finished 10th in voting, 6 spots ahead of teammate Josh Reddick, who was arguably more valuable.
- Robinson Cano was omitted on 4 ballots. This baffles me.
- Raul Ibanez received a 10th place vote. Since voters sent in their ballots before the postseason, I have no idea how this happened. Ibanez was worth 0.3 wins in 2012, hitting 19 home runs with a .761 OPS in 130 games.
- Not surprisingly, Derek Jeter finished 7th in balloting.
- Evan Grant had one of the votes, despite the whole Michael Young spectacle from last year. Grant went Cabrera-Trout-Cano-Beltre-Verlander for his top 5, so he wasn’t too far off this year. (Just swap the first two.)
- Jim Johnson received as many third place votes (1) as Mike Trout.
- Austin Jackson and Alex Gordon were among the best players not to receive any votes.
- Two other Angels received votes. Albert Pujols finished 17th (marking the first time in his career that he’s finished outside of the top 10) while Jered Weaver finished 23rd.
- Surprisingly, Torii Hunter received zero MVP votes whatsoever.
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