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Players choose Cabrera over Trout as TSN’s 2012 Player of the Year

Oct 26, 2012, 12:42 PM EDT

Miguel Cabrera AP

Miguel Cabrera is The Sporting News’ 2012 Player of the Year after being picked by 108 of the 203 players to vote.

Mike Trout was second with 71 votes. No one else got more than five votes, and surprisingly enough, the player with five was Adrian Beltre. Likely NL MVP Buster Posey received just two votes.

Getting one vote apiece were Gio Gonzalez, Derek Jeter and Craig Kimbrel. Yes, someone thought a closer who threw 62 innings was the best player in baseball this year.

The choice of Cabrera means Tigers have won the award in back-to-back seasons. Justin Verlander was the players’ choice in 2011.

For what it’s worth, TSN’s POTY has won his league’s MVP award every year since 2005. Andruw Jones got the nod for hitting 51 homers that year, but Albert Pujols edged him in the NL MVP balloting. The BBWAA MVP awards will be announced Nov. 15.

  1. historiophiliac - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM


  2. thereisaparty - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    And no one knows more about baseball than the players …

    Kimbrel getting an MVP vote is less offensive than Jeter getting one.

  3. kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Actually, to be fair; Kimbrel had the best year for a pitcher with more than 50 innings pitched in the history of baseball. Not this year or decade, but EVER. He may not be the most valuable cause of his minimal workload, but can’t argue that having the best pitched year ever isn’t quite the achievement. That’s more impressive to me than somebody winning a paper title in which 2/3 of it are meaningless stats.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Not this year or decade, but EVER

      How are you determining that he had the best year ever?

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        By stats that show if a pitcher was good or not: K/9, BB/9, Hits/9, LOB%, FIP, etc.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      The best? One could say he had the most dominant strikeout year ever, but that’s about as far as I’d go with it. He didn’t even necessarily have the best year by a closer this season, considering what Fernando Rodney did in the AL.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Find me a pitcher with more impressive stats: 16.66 K/9, 2.01 BB/9, 0.78 FIP. 92.8% LOB.

        Rodney is not even close, and shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence: 9.16 K/9, 1.81 BB/9, 2.13 FIP, 89.4% LOB.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Not to mention that Craig Kimbrel gave up 27 hits in 62.2 IPs… Uh, I can’t believe that on this site of all things, you don’t appreciate just how incredibly insane Kimbrel’s year was.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        I appreciate it for what it is. I just don’t think that someone who relies more on his defense is automatically worse than a big strikeout guy.

        I’d take Kimbrel over Rodney in the ninth-inning of a must-win game, for sure. And he is certainly the better bet going forward. But as for 2012 value, one can debate between them. The fact is that Kimbrel’s only real job for the Braves is to save games, and he blew three chances this year. That’s still terrific, but it’s far from historic.

      • smftrdr - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        One can debate anything: Rodney > Kimbrel, humans can breathe without oxygen, or 2+2=7. One can do as he pleases, but it does not stop one from being wrong.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Find me a pitcher with more impressive stats: 16.66 K/9, 2.01 BB/9, 0.78 FIP. 92.8% LOB.

        I’d take Pedro’s 99-00 stats over Kimbrel’s any day of the week and twice on sunday. This is all Pedro did, in the height of the offensive era:

        430 IP, 1.90 ERA (265 ERA+), 41-10, 597 K, 69 BB, 8.65 K/BB

        I wouldn’t use FIP for relievers as it docks guys like Rivera who have shown, over 1200 IP, that he can induce weaker hit balls than the average pitcher. Matt Cain and almost every knuckleballer does as well.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        If we’re counting wins and saves, then I’ll admit, it probably isn’t the best year ever – I’ll concede that Valverde last year was the best year ever cause he had zero blown saves. But I have little regard in saves and win, I judge by a different set of stats that I feel paint a more accurate picture of just how effective that pitcher really was.

        And I do believe relying less on your defense or chance of where the ball goes by striking everybody out instead is a good/important thing when it comes to preventing runs (just ask a Colorado Rockies’ pitcher) – which ultimately is the most important thing whether it’s the 1st, 5th or 9th inning.

        There’s an old school and new school way of thinking – one isn’t necessarily better than the other. There are plenty of respected analyst that value stats like Saves and Wins over stats that I feel matter. That’s the beauty of baseball, it’s very complex and not just black and white.

    • geoknows - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Sorry, I just don’t think you can compare the stats of someone who pitched 60 innings to those of someone who pitched 200+. I will take Pedro’s best years any day.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        Of course you can’t compare a reliever to a starter. Starters are clearly more valuable. I was just making a historic statistical anomaly. All pitchers that have pitched more than 50 innings in a season, Craig Kimbrel’s 2012 season was the most impressive in my opinion. And I think that’s more of an accomplishment than Miguel Cabrera’s year – Whose year wouldn’t even rank in the top 20 of all time or wasn’t even the best THIS season. Even limiting my statement to the best pitcher with 50-100 innings pitched… I still feel that was Kimbrel did is a harder/more impressive achievement than what Cabrera did.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        I was just making a historic statistical anomaly. All pitchers that have pitched more than 50 innings in a season, Craig Kimbrel’s 2012 season was the most impressive in my opinion

        It’s one thing to say a pitcher had a historical season, or even had an impressive or most impressive season, but you started off saying he had the best season ever for someone who pitched 50IP or more. And I think we all know that’s false. What Kimbrel did is great. He’s an amazing reliever. But plenty of pitchers have had far better seasons than his last.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        I stand by that statement 100% and nobody has yet to post any statistics that even come close to Kimbrel’s. Again, Craig Kimbrel had the most impressive statistical year of any pitcher that has pitched a minimum of 50 innings in a season. More innings pitched = more valuable, but it doesn’t equal more impressive statistically. There’s a difference. OF COURSE a starter is more valuable, but that’s not what I’m saying.

        To make an analogy, if a player batted .550 with 34 homers in 170 at bats, I would say that’s the most impressive year ever for somebody with 150 at bats . Of course it’s not the most valuable cause he only had 170 at bats, but that doesn’t diminish just how impressive that season would be.

  4. beefytrout - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    1 of the 5 votes for Beltre was clearly cast by Elvis Andrus, who did so in exchange for Beltre not murdering Andrus for his antics all year.

  5. jikkle49 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    This one will be interesting because I having a feeling baseball players like in most sports are going to tend to favor the a veteran over a rookie.

    It’s just rare to see a rookie as phenomenal as Trout so it will be interesting how the MVP voting plays out.

  6. willclarkgameface - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I think at this point, like the writers in the BBWAA always like to do, they will want to put SOMEONE in their place (and in this case its now the the players, not just readers) and vote for Trout as MVP.

    I’m okay with it. Trout deserves it. Cabrera had a great season. No question. However, we expected him to be great. This great? No, but we knew he had it in him. Trout on the other hand…we didn’t know what to expect. I thought .260/12HR/65RBI would have been a good full (close to full) first season for him. But then we got some damn good numbers from him.

    Trout for MVP all the way.

    • mordecofe - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      I want Trout as MVP, but the BBWAA votes for MVP BEFORE the postseason, not during. So, this has no impact on their vote.

  7. djpostl - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Cabrera was the “Batter of the Year” but there is more to being a player than swinging a bat.

    Factor in baserunning & defense and it isn’t even close. Trout by a good margin.

  8. yournuts - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    The only award that means anything is the World Series Trophy.

    • obpedmypants - Oct 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      Not if a huge contract extension counts as an award.

  9. timpaz - Oct 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I don’t see how there could be any debate for MVP in the AL, Cabrera was the first triple crown winner in 35 yrs.,led his team to a division championship, Trout had a great year , is rookie of the year, but the Angels would have finished where they were with or without him

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      “Trout had a great year , is rookie of the year, but the Angels would have finished where they were with or without him”

      What are you basing that statement off of? Clearly not fact, as the Angels were 7-14 (.333) before they called up Trout, and proceeded to go 82-59 (.581) with him…

      not to mention the fact he had the first WAR over 10 since Barry Bonds…

    • anythingbutyanks - Oct 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      The Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment, but theoretically a .295/30/105 season could win it in a league-wide down year, offensively. It means only that Cabrera was the best batter (marginally) in three poorly selected statistical areas, and perhaps the best batter (again, marginally) without caveat. But baseball is more than batting, while Cabrera is little more than his bat as a ball player.
      Add to that- while Cabrera led his team to the division title, he did it with a lower won/lost record than Trout’s Angels. So, once again, Cabrera’s achievements are as much a reflection of the competition as they are of his own work.
      “Most Valuable Player” basically means “Which player meant the most to his team’s success?” The answer, based on all the contributions that a player has made (batting, base running, defense), is clearly Trout.

      • brianc6234 - Oct 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM

        I agree. The Tigers had one less win than the Angels and made the playoffs thanks to being in the crappiest division in baseball. What a sham. Hopefully they get swept by the Giants. I’m sure a lot of people say Cabrera deserves this stuff because his team got to the playoffs. Trout would have too if he had a better manager who didn’t blow so many games.

      • juanhughjazz - Oct 27, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        The Angels had success? I think Angels would have not made the playoffs with or without Trout. The Tigers would not have made the playoffs without Cabrerra. BTW: that team from the worst division in baseball beat the division winners from the superior divisions to represent the AL in the World Series.

  10. echech88 - Oct 26, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    I would vote for Trout but I’m actually surprised he even got 71.

    I always assumed players understandably value the RBI as an accomplishment more than analysts and figured Cabrera would be a landslide because of that.

    • protectthishouse54 - Oct 26, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Agreed. Plus, I’m sure there are a lot of players who appreciate the history of the triple crown and are biased against someone who just popped up in the league. Writers on the other hand, probably have no problem jumping on that narrative.

  11. metalhead65 - Oct 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    unlike you saber metric geeks maybe the players realized that winning the triple crown for the first time in over 40 years plus leading your team to the playoffs and world series means something. not that the other guy did not have a great year but his team is sitting at home despite all the fancy numbers you have invented for him. not even a tigers fan just a old school baseball fan who enjoys watching the game more than playing with a calculator during it.

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