Parker: The AL MVP race? Still over

From SABR member Bill Parker at The Platoon Advantage on September 19, 2012:

Look, I know that Miguel Cabrera is an awesome baseball player, and I know he had a huge game last night, and that he’s currently two homers back of Josh Hamilton from being in a position to win the first Triple Crown since 1967 (as I write this, he appears to be about five points up over Trout in the batting race, and six RsBI over Hamilton). That’d be a pretty amazing accomplishment, and I know that it’s gotta be tempting to go around touting his MVP credentials. 

Here’s the thing, though, guys: there’s no AL MVP discussion this year. That was canceled. I’m sorry, I thought you’d heard. It’s Mike Trout. They made the announcement, like, two months ago. I don’t know what rumors you’ve heard or whatever, but nope, that hasn’t changed. It’s still off.


If you think Cabrera deserves the MVP, and think you can argue that the systems and I are way off on any one of those factors (not just that we can’t be 100% certain about the exact numbers, but that it’s seriously off for some reason), please do. Otherwise, that’s what we’ve got: they’ve been essentially equal with bats in their hands, and Trout has been much, much better in every other aspect. The baserunning, basestealing and defense alone adds up to about a 36-run advantage for Trout; I think the GIDPs could add another ten or more, but I’m frankly undecided about how to handle that, so I won’t (I don’t think it’s necessary). 36 runs is a huge number; WAR says, for example, that Prince Fielder, who has been really, really good, has been worth about that much over the course of the entire season vis-a-vis a random replacement-level player. So, basically: Mike Trout has been one whole Prince Fielder better than Miguel Cabrera.

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Related link: FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron on Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera and measuring value

Originally published: September 19, 2012. Last Updated: September 19, 2012.