Miguel Cabrera Wins AL MVP Following Historic Season

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

Detroit Tigers superstar and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera has been named the American League's Most Valuable Player for 2012 by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, according to CBS Sports:

Miguel Cabrera beats out Mike Trout for the 2012 American League MVP award – cbsprt.co/MLB2012MVPs.

— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) November 15, 2012

Cabrera edged out Los Angeles Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout to win the coveted award. The two pulled away from the field after the All-Star break, making it a two-horse race for most of the season's second half.

The 29-year-old third baseman finished the season with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 runs batted in to claim the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. He also led the league with a .999 OPS and scored 109 runs.

"Miggy" will add the MVP honor to an already impressive list of accomplishments. He's also been named an All-Star seven times, captured three Silver Slugger Awards and won the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003. 

Cabrera led the Tigers to the postseason, which was one advantage he had over Trout. Even though playoff stats don't impact the vote, the fact Cabrera's team made it while Trout's came up four games short likely played a role in the voters' decision.

Without Cabrera, it's safe to say the Chicago White Sox would have represented the AL Central in the postseason. Several Tigers struggled out of the gate, including prized acquisition Prince Fielder, but Cabrera carried the team to ensure it remained in the hunt before pulling away late.

That's perhaps the most remarkable part about his season. He didn't just have a couple of good months; he was dominant from April to October, playing in all but one of the team's 162 games. It's hard to remain that consistent for six months.

So often in baseball, fans will hear about a player hitting .333 during a recent hot streak. Cabrera's hot streak lasted for the entire season, and because of that, he's a worthy MVP.

Trout received a lot of recognition from the voters as well, and rightfully so. The rising star spent almost a month in the minor leagues and still managed to finish his rookie season with a .326 average, 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases.

In terms of wins above replacement (WAR; Fangraphs), the most popular cumulative measure of a player's performance during the season, he led the majors at 10.0. His terrific fielding ability gave him an edge over Cabrera in that statistical category.

Nobody outside of Detroit would have complained if Trout was given the nod. It was a close race right down to the wire and Cabrera won the photo finish. It's a year where both players truly deserved to win baseball's highest individual honor.

Ultimately, the voters decided Cabrera's Triple Crown and playoff berth were enough to push him over the top. Just another memento from a memorable season.