It’s not particularly surprising that Miguel Cabrera won the 2012 AL MVP Award, which was announced this evening.
It’s slightly more surprising that the vote wasn’t even close: Cabrera beat out rookie phenom Mike Trout by grabbing 22 of the possible 28 first place votes. The final point tally was 362 points for Cabrera to 281 points for Trout.
The local twist to the story, though, is perhaps most interesting. Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal was the only BBWAA member not to include Trout in his top two, choosing Cabrera for the top slot with Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers second and Trout third.
Trout was considered a darling of sabermetric community blowing Cabrera away in Wins Above Replacement, Win Probability Added, and Weighted Runs Created (among others) due to comparable batting contributions and superior defense and baserunning. According to Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs, and Baseball Prospectus, Trout contributed more wins to his team than Cabrera did for his. Nevertheless, Cabrera won the Triple Crown while Trout’s Angels missed the playoffs (despite winning more games than the Tigers). Narratives abound.
I imagine Ocker’s twitter feed might be blowing up about now. You know those saberists and their basement-based internet flame wars….