Miguel Cabrera: Sabermetrics Don’t Help True MVP
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers should be the AL MVP this season. Many people think that Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels deserves it more because his sabermetric statistics are better. I question how accurate these numbers even are and what they really mean. They have not been around for that long so it is still plausible that corrections need to be made in some of the formulas.
The newest statistic that everyone is focusing on is Wins Above Replacement. Trout is leading the league in WAR by a substantial margin. This number seems to be inaccurate right off the bat. Cabrera is only seventh in the rankings. You cannot possibly say that he is the seventh most valuable player this season. He is going to win the Triple Crown. I repeat, THE TRIPLE CROWN. This must be the best statistical season ever if the seventh best position player is able to accomplish something that hasn’t been done in 45 years.
Maybe the argument can be made that the statistic is swayed by the position you play. Trout plays outfield so he is going to be faster both in the field and on the bases. He is stealing bases at a phenomenal rate and may be the best outfielder in the game. That’s fine, I will give you that one.
Let’s focus on third base since that is where Cabrera plays. Would any of you agree that David Wright is having a better season than Cabrera? No? I didn’t think so. According to WAR he is but somehow is not getting any mentions for the MVP in the NL. This proves that sometimes numbers can be swayed in certain directions.
Mike Trout is probably the best player, especially given his age. That does not mean he deserves the MVP this season. He is going to get votes because it is a popularity contest and he is the newest flavor of the month. I would like to see people vote for Miguel Cabrera. He is accomplishing one of the most remarkable feats in sports but could get overlooked by a rookie due to some mathematical formulas that don’t belong in baseball.
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