Fans of the long ball will say, “Forget about Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. This year’s AL MVP can only go to one player, and his name is Chris Davis“. The only problem is, those people are 100 percent incorrect.
Davis has had a great season, but to call it an MVP season over Cabrera or Trout is not as simple as that lofty HR total. When the 2013 season reached its first half, the most compelling and intriguing storyline was easily Cabrera’s chase for a second Triple Crown.
No one in the history of MLB had ever repeated in winning this award, but Cabrera looked like he could be the first. He was having a monster half and putting up numbers that were even better than what he did in his Triple Crown and MVP-winning season.
But when the half came to a close, Cabrera was not in possession of the Triple Crown — he was missing the home runs. Davis actually led in that category and finished the season leading in that category as well.
There was a chance that Cabrera could catch Davis, but injuries prevented that from happening as Cabrera played 11 fewer games and recorded nine fewer home runs. Davis also managed to take the RBI lead as his 138 are one more than Cabrera’s 137. That’s why Davis is no doubt going to win the MVP, right? Wrong.
Davis has been the premiere powerhouse in baseball this year and leads all players in HR and RBI, but when it comes to those all important player value statistics, he just doesn’t match up. He is second in the league with 198 strikeouts, which is 63 more than Trout and 105 more than Cabrera. His AVG/OBP (.287/.370) is .60/.71 lower than Cabrera’s and .36/.61 lower than Trout’s.
And that doesn’t even get into player value determined by WAR, of which Trout leads all of baseball and Davis is a mere 16th.
However, Davis does have the edge in all of the power numbers as he leads Cabrera in HR by nine and Trout by a massive 27, and leads Cabrera in RBI by one and Trout by 42. Davis also leads both players in doubles and total extra-base hits, of which he has 96.
But in an age of value statistics, something like stolen bases, of which Trout’s 33 are exactly 26 more than both Cabrera and Davis’ combined, could give him an advantage. And there is that lofty WAR of 9.1. Trout is a little more versatile than Davis and Cabrera, and that could show in the voting.
Ultimately, at this point, no one candidate is head and shoulders above the rest, and I can say with certainty that no one person will win unanimously. These are three incredible players each with their own skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. There won’t be a snub no matter who wins and really, that is all that matters.
Marilee Gallagher is a baseball writer for RantSports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MGallagher17 like her page on Facebook, or join her network on Google.