Posted November 14, 2013

Miguel Cabrera wins AL MVP award; Andrew McCutchen takes NL MVP

Awards Watch, Most Valuable Player award
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Miguel Cabrera led the majors in all three slash stats in 2013. (Chuck Solomon/SI)

Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera won his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award and Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen won his first National League MVP in balloting announced on Thursday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Cabrera is the first AL player since former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas in 1993 and ’94 to win the award in consecutive seasons. Just as in 2012, he beat out Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the honor. Cabrera received 23 first-place voters and 385 points overall; Trout got 5 firsts and had 282 total points. The Orioles’ Chris Davis, who led the majors in home runs and RBIs, got one first-place vote but finished third with 232 points. Oakland’s Josh Donaldson got the remaining first-place vote.

McCutchen is the first Pirates player since Barry Bonds in 1992 to win the award. He got 28 first-place votes and 409 points overall. Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (0 firsts, 242 points overall) and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (2, 219) finished second and third, respectively.

Cabrera overcame nagging injuries late in the season to lead the majors in batting average (.348; his third straight AL batting title), on-base percentage (.442) and slugging percentage (.636). He also had 44 home runs and 137 RBIs, almost mirroring his totals from 2012: 44 and 139, both of which led the majors en route to his winning the first Triple Crown in 45 years. Just as in 2012, he powered Detroit to the AL Central title while Trout’s Angels missed the postseason entirely.

Trout led the league in runs and walks and hit .323 with a .432 OBP and .557 slugging while adding 27 home runs and 33 stolen bases. He led all of baseball with 9.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com. Davis had 53 home runs and 138 RBIs and his 370 total bases were also the most in the major leagues.

Last year’s Pirates finished below .500 for the 20th consecutive season, a record for major North American team sports. This year, though, McCutchen carried Pittsburgh to its first winning season and first postseason berth since the Bonds-led squad of ’92. He topped the team in batting average (.317), on-base percentage (.404) and slugging percentage (.508) while also hitting 21 home runs and stealing 27 bases. He finished in the top 10 of the National League in all three slash stats as well as runs, hits and total bases and led NL position players in offensive wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Goldschmidt was the league’s premier power hitter, ranking first in home runs (36), RBIs (125), slugging percentage (.551), OPS (.952) and total bases (322). He was bidding to become the first Arizona player to win the MVP award.

Molina set a career-high with a .319 average and added 12 home runs and 80 RBIs to his always excellent defense that resulted in his sixth consecutive Gold Glove award. He helped St. Louis to the NL Central title and, eventually, a berth in the World Series, where it lost in six games to the Red Sox.

37 comments
DODGERFAIL2013
DODGERFAIL2013

Lirano, Melancon, and Byrd were more valuable to the Pirates in the last month or two of the MLB season.

Cutch is a very good player, but he was AVERAGE all year long, esp. in the last 10 days of the season when the WC home field advantage was on the line.


KeysSteven
KeysSteven

Cabrera a very deserving winner and McCutchen a terrific ball-player.  But while both selectees were apropos in that their styles of play are befitting of their respective Leagues, I would've given NL trophy to Goldschmidt (0 firsts?).  While team performance is one consideration when casting, the MVP is an individual awarding, not a team title.

As for Mr. Trout, he can take some solace in knowing he's coming up short to a man who should be, if all goes accordingly, a first-ballot HOF'er.

therednorth1
therednorth1

You can debate WAR and other sabremetric stats all you want, but the AL MVP vote eventually comes down to this:

Cabrera played incredible offense last season, and bad defense.
Trout played slightly less incredible offense, paired with good defense.
The MVP ballot clearly defines "valuable" as the sum of their offensive and defensive contributions.

Now obviously defense isn't worth anything close to what offense is worth, so what this debate comes down to is whether Trout defense pushed him over Cabrera.  I could see an argument going either way.

Scramble
Scramble

That's a bunch of crap. Davis was more of an MVP than Cabrera. Tigers make playoffs even without him, O's don't have a chance without Davis.

StevenSmith
StevenSmith

WAR means nothing and it never will. Cabby is the best player in baseball that's all there is to it.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

JOSH DONALDSON got a first place vote?? You friggin serious? Whoever voted for him needs to have their voting privileges revoked...

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

Ah, yes.  Trout led MLB in a statistic that keeps changing because the geeks who invented it keep "improving" it.  (Baseballreference has tweaked it at least 3 times in the last 3 years, with variations of as much as 30% for some players.)  Seems valid thing for article like this -- NOT.

jehu502
jehu502

Based on the title of this page in the browser looks like they expect McCutchen to win the NL MVP <title>Andrew McCutchen wins NL MVP Award | The Strike Zone - SI.com</title>

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@DODGERFAIL2013  If AM was average all year, how do you explain him finishing in the top ten in the league in average, RBI, runs, hits, and total bases?   Seems like an average player would finish much farther down the list.

doghockey
doghockey

@MorphySmith Apparently not to the people whose opinions actually matter.    Oh, and your argument against the guy were absolutely riveting.

StevenSmith
StevenSmith

@Scramble Davis didn't deserve to even be in the running for the award. He did nothing but hit homeruns he had almost 200 K's He is no where nere the hitter Cabrera is.

beelze
beelze

@Scramble The Detroit Tigers were knocked out of the ALCS b/c Cabrera had a torn groin and a hobbled ankle. Miggy stopped hitting due to injury, that is why they lost to Boston. Davis a great season

Scramble
Scramble

@StevenSmith I would take Machada over Cabby any day of the week. Just like I would take Brooks over Mike Schmidt.

gradyha1
gradyha1

@StevenSmith WAR means nothing to you because you are at best case stubborn and at worst case ignorant and possessing a borderline retarded IQ. Trout helped his team score and prevent more runs (which is the objective of the game) and thus win more games, therefore he is more valuable. It is very indicting of our society that people like you cant grasp that simple concept.

jehu502
jehu502

@jehu502 Now it is fixed since McCutchen did win.  :)  I agree PAZSKY, out of those players, to vote Donaldson first is idiotic.

DODGERFAIL2013
DODGERFAIL2013

@JoeCabot @DODGERFAIL2013 sorta funny how your post neglects to mention:  "top 3" or "top 5".

freddie freeman was more deserving of the NL MVP than Cutch.  Even Alvarez was more deserving on the Pirates.

Scramble
Scramble

@StevenSmith @Scramble You, as the writers have no clue what an MVP is. Hitting is for the Allstar game. MVP is how valuable you were to your team's existence.

doghockey
doghockey

@Scramble And Boog Powell over Lou Gehrig.   And Paul Blair over Mickey Mantle.  And Bill Ripken over Joe Morgan.   Gee you aren't a googly-eyed Oriole fan, are you?

StevenSmith
StevenSmith

@gradyha1 @StevenSmith Trout was a below average fielder this year. Detroit won more games than the Angels. Cabby helped Detroit get to the playoffs. Trout has yet to do that even with a team that was favored to win. So don't give me that crap that Trout is better. he's not even close to Cabrera as a baseball player.

Joseph9
Joseph9

@gradyha1 @StevenSmith Actually, according to baseball-reference.com, Cabrera and Trout were responsible for creating the exact same number of runs. I'm a fan of advanced metrics, as I spend all day working in statistics, but one thing that teaches me is that there are a lot of different measures, and a lot of different ways of considering things. I'm not a far of WAR as the absolute only one that matters, nor am I at all a fan of the way WAR fans treat other fans, such as evidenced by posts such as yours, which are simply arrogant and obnoxious.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@gradyha1 @PAZSKY 

There is a valid argument against anything in this world.

Scientists even debate natural laws. You're saying that WAR stands above mere science.

Interesting premise, because there are a half-dozen different versions of WAR, most of which keep changing, with variances of up to 30% as its inventors keep playing with it.

But according to you,ever-changing WAR is written in stone.  Hm.

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@PAZSKY @gradyha1 @MidwestGolfFan @StevenSmith Wow. That might be the dumbest reasoning behind an MVP choice I've ever seen. So, I'm assuming that having a top-notch starting rotation, including the 2011 Cy, 2012 Cy runner up, and 2013 Cy versus the garbage that the Angels trotted out there this year had no say on how each team finished? If you swap Miggy and Trout, Anaheim still misses the playoffs while Detroit does. Would that make Trout your MVP, then? How have you not been hired by a front office yet? 

gradyha1
gradyha1

@PAZSKY so your argument is that trout isnt valuable because his team wouldnt have improved without him, ignoring the fact that baseball is a team sport where individual contributions have a very limited impact on a teams overall success, that is still extremely idiotic. Also, all stats are made up, its not as if when Alexander Cartwright invented baseball batting average just appeared out of nowhere. WAR is made up, with a basis of fact, statistics, and efficiency. There is no valid argument against it.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@gradyha1 @MidwestGolfFan @StevenSmith Grady, WAR is a made up- overrated stat. The Angels without Trout? STILL miss the Playoffs. The Tigers without Miggy? Would NOT have made the Playoffs. Simple enough for you? Quit trying to pretend you have any intelligence.

gradyha1
gradyha1

@MidwestGolfFan @gradyha1 @StevenSmith It is obvious and self-evident as it could be, it just goes to show how ignorant and set in our ways society is that we all can realize that. Intelligent people within the game have overwhelmingly adopted saber metric evaluation of players and teams to great success. It is not an indictment against advanced and evolved stats like WAR that curmudgeony sports writers and unintelligent fans dont buy in.