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.




oriental andrew

October 3rd, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

That's stupid.  In their poll, there are 3 states (NH, RI, HI) in which more than 50% of voters thinks it diminishes the accomplishment.  In fact, 9/18 in HI think it diminishes the accomplishment greatly. 

This is what happens when you throw up a question without the context of how many games he's played this season. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Cabrera still has baseball to play.  After tonight, all Trout has to worry about is his tee time.  Anyone characterizing Miguel sitting out tonight as a means to protect his Triple Crown as weaksauce is just a hater.

In 160 games played Cabrera has built up a 1 HR lead, an 11 RBI lead, and a 6 point BA lead and he still has something to prove?  He doesn't have to play tonight because he's been that much more of a badass than everyone else in the American League this season.  That's the kind of player you give MVP to, BTW.


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:58 AM ^

Fielding percentage is a worthless stat for showing how good someone is defensively.  You'd need your head examined if you were going to tout Cabby's defensive prowess over Trout using fielding percentage.  Trout is by far the superior defender -- in fact, he's the best CF in the game.

Of course I want Miguel to win the MVP, but he's already achieved something more important this season: making the playoffs.

Go Tigers!!


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

I guess I found it funny the OP dinged Trout for WAR being subjective then turned around and tried to make it seem like Cabby was the superior fielder by comparing field fielding percentage as if that was the only defensive measurable.

Miguel definitely does not suck at 3rd, that is for sure. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

Plus, defensive statistics are dependent on SO many factors. For example, if the Tigers had a shortstop with better range (sorry, Jhonny), it would make some of Cabrera's advanced numbers look better. Having watched probably 140 Tigers games this year, Cabrera has actually been a pretty decent defender. His range is obviously limited, but he's been sure-handed with the glove and has really only made a couple of bad throws all year (plus, he has a gun for an arm). I'd challenge you to find a 3rd baseman who is better at starting the 5-4-3.

I don't think anyone is claiming that Cabrera has been a better defender than Trout. That'd be a tough argument to make. People DO claim, though, that Trout's defense isn't SO much better than Cabrera's that it tips the overall scales in his favor (and I agree).


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

That is a really great point that is impossible to measure with Stats.  Cabrera has one of the nicest feeds to 2nd base that I have ever seen. It seems to always be firm and on point.


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

The impression I get is that the Trout backers are more of the young guard guys who put tons of stock in sabremetrics statistics, over the more standard statistical measures.  Yet in the sabremetic philosophy, defensive performance is not considered important in evaluating player value.  Stealing bases is also not recommended.  Yet these are the two areas the Trout guys point to as the discriminator over Cabrera...I find some irony there.


October 3rd, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

I'm not sure you have any idea what youre talking about. Sorry to sound so blunt. The "philosophy" of sabermetrics is nothing more than the desire to understand the game at a deeper level. That is, we know that AVG/HR/RBI isn't good enough by itself, and there is more to know. Sabermetricians has been trying to evaluate defense, and has so far determined that it is quite difficult, but certainly not unimportant. And they also say that it's not SBs that are not valuable, but the guys who get thrown out so many times while trying to steal bases that neutralize any return (Trout's SB% is fantastic though).

This is the biggest source of strife between the groups - not understanding what the others are saying.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

He is a great centerfielder, great player, and would be worthy of the MVP....

But he isn't the best centerfielder on his own team. When Bourjos plays, he moves to left. Fielding is very important but it is somewhat subjective, especially when comparing a third baseman to a centerfielder. (Not saying Miggy is better. That would be silly.)


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

And I do know that Trout moves to left when Bourjos plays, but is that solely because the Angels think Peter is a better CF?  Could it be that Bourjos is more comfortable in center whereas Trout has no problems playing either?  I'm asking honestly because I don't know.


October 3rd, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

If this is true, why does his manager Mike Scioscia take him out of CF and put him in LF so he can put Peter Bourjos in CF when the two are playing the outfield together?  Trout isn't even the best CF on their own team according to his own manager!  Yet, you expect us to believe that he's the best in baseball?


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

I was starting to wonder if anybody would ever accomplish this again. I always thought Pujols in his prime was the most likely candidate -- he's won a batting title, home run title, and RBI title, but never managed to do all three in one year. A great accomplishment for Miggy.

I have no dog in the MVP argument b/w Trout and Cabrera (I'm a Cardinals fan), but I see the argument on both sides -- I don't think you can just say "There's NO WAY Trout should win the MVP." Dude has had a phenomenal season, plays a more premium defensive position. I'd probably vote for Cabrera, but you can make a good case for Trout too. (I'm not a sabremetrics nut, but I do think it helps us understand the game and players' contributions better than ever).

Also, to the OP: I wouldn't bandy about fielding percentage as a proof of defensive prowess (for Cabrera or anyone else). You can have a great fielding percentage but shitty range, which means you commit fewer errors, but also don't get to as many balls as someone with better range.


October 3rd, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

(I'm not a sabremetrics nut, but I do think it helps us understand the game and players' contributions better than ever)

True and the ironic part about that statement is that a true sabremetrician would probably say that Trout's defensive prowess does not matter. His stolen bases, does not matter. That's part of the paradigm shift that Bill James revealed when he first came up with the sabremetric philosophy; that defensive play is not a discriminator when evaluating player value; that stealing bases is a bad idea. Yet Trout seems to be the poster child for the MVP based on the new math, yet these guys touting him are using stats to justify their case that sabremetrics discounts.

Trout has had a great year, but Cabrera is leading the league in OPS, is essentially tied with Trout for OBP, walks a lot, strikes out rarely, and is smart on the base paths. Cabrera is Bill James' wet dream for a baseball player and yet he is only valuable as measured by the "old math"? I just don't get the debate.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

I hope (and honestly think) Cabrera will win the MVP, but Jayson Stark made a pretty good (and objective) case for Trout in a write-up yesterday. Here's the link.

I've often said that if I had to pick one hitter to send to home plate with a big game riding on it, I'd pick Cabrera. But that doesn't mean he's been a better baseball player than Mike Trout. And remember, that Triple Crown isn't the only historic achievement that belongs in this argument. Trout is the first player EVER to hit 30 homers, steal 45 bases and score 125 runs in one season.

If you want to toss in his slash line, his 62 extra-base hits, his 92.3 percent stolen-base success rate or any other item on his stat sheet, you'll find that no player in the history of baseball has combined this much excellence in so many areas in the same season. Again, that phrase was "no player in the history of baseball."

And by the way, Trout only needs 1 more SB to make it a 30-50 season for him. If he gets on base today, you can bet your bottom dollar he'll be off to the races to get #50.

Either way, it's exciting that we're this close to history, and that the person making history happens to be playing for my team.

Monocle Smile

October 3rd, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

This is the white-people-love-Mike-Trout line argument I dropped earlier. This guy Stark throws together arbitrary statistics and somehow equates it to the Triple Crown.

There's no doubt Mike Trout is a fantastic baseball player. But the award is called Most Valuable Player for a reason, and no one can change a game like Cabrera.


October 3rd, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

Unfortunately, and as distasteful as it is, I think race plays a role in why this MVP debate is still so close.  It's not the only reason, but I think it plays a factor.  Just imagine if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown and Trout wins the MVP.  30 years from now, when baseball historians look back on that and try to explain it, race won't be brought up as a reason?

French West Indian

October 3rd, 2012 at 6:22 PM ^

....class;  Cabrera has tattoos so he's obviously a thug.  Also political philosophy because Cabrera is Venezuelan, he must be one of those Hugo Chavez type South American socialist.  Probably a drug dealer too.

Really, when you think about it, it's remarkable that Cabrera is even allowed to be in the USA let alone be considered for the MVP.

(yes, I'm being sarcastic)

singler makes …

October 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

Actually if you look at win probability added (NOT WAR), you'll find that Trout has changed the game more often than Cabrera. Basically, WPA shows how often a player changes the probability that his team will win a game. Read more on WPA here: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-WPA?urn=mlb,209597

As a neutral baseball fan, its a close race, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Trout win. This isn't just an OMG WAR argument. RBIs, HRs, and BA are just as arbitrary as Runs, SBs and OBP. Advanced stat after advanced stat says Trout was the better player than cabrera this year, EVEN WHEN INCLUDING FIELDING INDEPENDENCE.

Now if you want to make the argument that the Angels didn't make the playoffs, go for it.

Monocle Smile

October 3rd, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

I will absolutely make the argument that the Angels didn't make the playoffs, but more importantly, the Tigers wouldn't without Cabrera.

There's a bit of AL vs. NL going on here. I would argue indefinitely that RBIs, HRs, and BA are more impressive than most of Trout's superior stats in the AL. If both players were NL players, I think Trout would have a much better case. I truly think the game is that much different between the leagues.


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

If you want to support Cabrera for MVP do so without the whole "his team made the playoff argument."  I don't think it's very relevant for baseball when compared to football or hockey.

The Angels (and Rays) are both going to finish the season with better records than the Tigers.      So you want to penalize Trout for playing better competition?


October 3rd, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

One more thing people need to keep in mind about WAR is that it's a position based stat. Mike Trout's value is being compared against all of the other CF's in baseball, while Miggy's value is being compared against all of the other players 3B, not all of the players in the league.

This is important to note because WAR effectively punshies players who play at a deep position, like 1B, by setting the baselines for a replacement level player higher than a weaker position, like catcher.

So what this means is that statitistically speaking, a first baseman could undoubtedly have a better year than a catcher, but the catcher could potentially have a higher WAR, simply based on the relative positions that they play.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

I'm really sick of the WAR stat.  I wish people would stop throwing that meaningless stat around.   Last years WAR leader in the American League was...Ben Zobrist.  He batted .269 with 20 HR's and 91 RBI's.