Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Yeah, a little bit. But honestly, who else could have possibly gone here?
The fact that Miguel Cabrera just won the AL MVP is part of my reasoning for putting him at No. 1 on this list, but that's not all there is to it. He should be considered the man to beat for the award simply because he can do all the things that MVP voters love, and because he's the surest bet you're going to find in baseball.
For all the negative things that were said about Cabrera's defense and his baserunning this season, nobody ever accused him of being a bad hitter. Whether you consult old-school stats or sabermetrics, he is indeed an elite hitter. The game's best, in my opinion (yours too, I'm guessing).
Over the last three seasons, no hitter has compiled a higher batting average, slugging percentage or OPS than Cabrera. Nobody's racked up more RBI, and only Jose Bautista has launched more homers. He also leads the field in sabermetrics stats like wOBA and wRC+.
So how do we know he's going to do it all over again in 2013?
Well, because he's Miguel Cabrera, for one. Two—and this is going to sound weird—he actually had something of a down year in 2012.
For all his brilliance, Miggy saw his walk rate take a dive from over 15 percent in 2011 to 9.5 percent in 2012. He was taking more hacks than usual, and his batting average dropped from .344 to .330 in part because not as many hits were falling. His BABIP dropped 34 points.
So, let's assume that Miggy ups his walk rate again and that he tacks a few points onto his BABIP. What then?
Put simply: He'll be himself.
That doesn't necessarily mean he's in for another Triple Crown season, as that's not the kind of thing that's going to happen twice in a row after not happening for 45 years. But it will mean that he'll put up absurd numbers that will grab the attention of the voters.
As long as the Tigers also make the playoffs, Cabrera will be right where he needs to be to win another MVP.
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