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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trout's Compensation? Maybe the Next 15 MVPs





     By Ross Newhan

      I don't care whether you are a traditionalist or a sabermetric seamhead, the contest between Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award was a virtual tossup, and it is not a crime, Angel fans and Trout supporters, that Cabrera won. I'm not going to go on and on about this, nor do I dispute that Trout's overall statistics, when including base stealing and his sensational defensive play (which can now be measured metrically), seem superior to those of the Detroit third baseman.

     But consider:

     --Cabrera was the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown, leadng the American League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

     --From April 28, when Trout played his first game with the Angels, Cabrera had a better batting average and slugging percentage, and their on-base percentage was basically even.

    --Cabrera also had a better stretch and September than Trout, particularly power wise, helping lift the Tigers over the collapsing Chicago White Sox to a Central Division title while the Angels failed to reach the playoffs despite one more September win than the successful Tigers.

    This is the way I look at it: In his first year, attempting to add the MVP to his Rookie of the Year Award, Trout ran into a historial roadblock in the form of a Triple Crown and a player who basically had a comparable season with the bat in his hands.

    I know that may freak out the computer devotees--the WAR and OPS touters, those who would contend that it is simply wrong to eliminate Trout's defense and stolen base accomplishments as he rewrote the rookie record book--but this was strictly a pick-em contest, and, at 21, Trout's compensation could be that he'll win the next 15 MVP Awards, or at least the majority, he is easily that good.
 

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