OT: Cabrera to win Triple Crown Tonight?

Submitted by Allin4Blue on October 3rd, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Cabrera will most likely make history tonight against the Royals. 

-Hamilton has to face one of the toughest pitchers in baseball right now (Griffin) who has only given up 10 HRs all year (three of them against the Tigers). Not to mention he would have to hit 2. 

-It's pretty much assumed he's won the RBI title. 

-Batting Average will most likely be won as well since 1 hit by Cabrera would nearly make it impossible for anyone to catch him.  He will most likely get 2-4 at bats tonight and would have to go 0-4 while Trout would have to hit 4-4 to catch him.  If Cabby hits 1 for 3, Trout would need 6 for 6 to catch him.  So it's likely that one hit or one out by Trout all but guarantees the Batting Average title.

(ESPN is going to Air every at bat from him.)

The Crazy thing is that he still might not win the MVP! 

Cabrera: 1st Triple Crown since '67, Playoff team, huge lead in OPS, SLG, and is 6th among 3rd baseman in Fielding percentage

Trout:  Tied for 34th in assists among CF, did not make the playoffs, 9th in Fielding percentage among CF. 

How is this not already handed to Cabrera and why is there even a debate... it's baffling.

Trout has four edges: stolen bases, runs, OBP, and WAR (which is the the most subjective Stat ever invented in baseball).

Not to mention Cabrera appeared in 161 of 162 games and trout only appeared in 139.





October 3rd, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

I think the book is still out on Trout.  No doubt he has elite speed and is an outstanding fielder, but there are already indications that pitchers have begun to catch up to him at the plate as his hitting has tailed off a bit the past two months.  Elite hitters still get on base despite pitchers knowing how to pitch to them.  Trout has yet to prove that he can do that.  In a year or two, if he's still hitting .340 and scoring 120 runs, then I will grant you that he's the next great player, and if he's still doing that, he'll get his MVP award and the Angels will be making the playoffs.


October 3rd, 2012 at 6:05 PM ^

Can I get a little clarification from you on something? Are you advocating that Trout is undeserving of the MVP because he hasn't been succesful for very long? I'm genuinely not trying to start a fight I just haven't heard the argument that Trout hasn't proven he can get on base consistently. Trout's September hasn't been as productive as the rest of his season was but he was still one of the best players in baseball during that time. He has basically a full season under his belt at this point and it has been one hell of a season. He may never produce a season like this again because some of the best players in baseball simply can't always reproduce that type of season. Just because Trout hasn't had success for multiple consecutive seasons like Cabrera doesn't mean you can simply discount what he's done THIS season.


October 3rd, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

Discounting RBIs as being primarily a result of circumstances beyond the hitter's control while pumping up stolent bases, which are just as circumstantial as RBIs (the pitcher's delivery speed, the catcher's arm, accuracy, and delivery speed, the type and placement of the pitch, whether the opposing team is even concerned if you steal in that situation or not, etc...) is a tad disingenuous.


October 3rd, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

As a Tigers fan, i certainly want Cabrera to win the MVP, but i can make a compelling arguement for either player. And i certainly wouldn't feel like it's a travesty if Trout wins.

However, i'd end up voting for Miggy based on a few things. One, the higher average over more games; not playing as many games isn't Trout's fault, but it's still a fact. Two, Trout's production has fallen off in August and September. Three, late season and late inning production stats really favor Cabrera. Four, the intagibles of switching positions to a more difficult to field position and performing above expectations (certainly not being a liability). This one you could balance out with Trout being a rookie, which counts for something; on the other hand, Trout has only proven that he's really fast and had an incredible couple of months in the middle of the season.

In the end and assuming Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, that will matter a hell of a lot more than winning the MVP. Cabrera will be on a short list with some of the games greatest hitters and will be the last Triple Crown winner for what could be a few decades based on history. In five years Trout winning the MVP will be forgotten by most except when it pops up as a question about rookie MVP winners in bar trivia or becomes the exclamation point on the first season of an incredible career.


October 3rd, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Let's all get with the times. Some of these baseball stats are extremely outdated. While the Triple Crown is still very impressive, batting average and RBI are two of the most flawed stats in sports. Batting average is calculated after a significant number of plate appearances are completely ignored. RBI might be the worst stat in all of sports, as it is almost completely dependent on other players and your spot in the batting order. Consider Mike Trout, a lead off hitter. In 137 games he was the first player up to bat. That means in over 20% of his plate appearances, it was not possible for him to record an RBI without hitting a home run.

Fielding percentage is also not a true measure of defensive ability. It measure how many times you don't screw up when you get to a ball. It does not measure your ability to actually get to the ball. Superior measures of defensive ability suggests that Trout is one of the top defensive center fielders in the game while Cabrera is one of the worst defensive third basemen in baseball.

The playoff argument also annoys me. The Tigers would be 4th in the AL West, two games behind the Angels. That is, of course, assuming the Tigers would have the exact same record in a much tougher division. I fail to see why Cabrera is more valuable of a player because his team plays in a worse division.

Lastly, the idea that WAR is subjective is pretty laughable. It's a stat that took years and years to develop to get to where it is today. It's not a perfect stat by any means, but it is the best we have for measuring overall performance. It is a hell of a lot more informative than batting average and RBI.


October 3rd, 2012 at 6:27 PM ^

I fully agree and I hate to say this but you're probably never gonna convince many people that WAR is a useful stat. It isn't a HUGELY subjective stat, but there is a degree of uncertainty to it because of the nature of evaluating defensive ability and baserunning. People tend to either trust the stats and math that go into producing WAR or they cling to the old-guard stats. The people in the middle (like most on this board) that are willing to consider WAR but are still a little skeptical are few and far between. 

More importantly you're also not gonna convince a bunch of Tigers fans of its immense value and that is simply because right now WAR says there has been a guy with a significantly better season than Cabrera did. That's not necessarily a bad thing. WAR is easy to discount because it hasn't been widely accepted yet and because quantifying baserunning and defense is difficult to do and even more difficult to understand. The argument against WAR being the end-all-be-all makes sense because trying to condense all the things a guy does onto the field into one useful stat does seem rather impossible. 

Full disclosure, I like WAR. I think it is an extremely useful stat to guide further evaluation of a player's production. The argument about Trout vs. Cabrera will just come down to what each voter values in their baseball players though. If all a voter cares about is what a guy does at the plate the choice seems pretty obvious. If Trout wins the MVP it probably will signal a major changing of the guard in voter thinking about the MVP award (kind of like King Felix's Cy Young did).