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."
This will mean nothing to those that immediately dismiss WAR, but the difference between Trout and Cabrera is 4.2 WAR. That is also the difference in WAR between Miguel Cabrera and Alberto Callaspo.
Cabrera is the first third baseman to win the triple crown.
Cesar Cedeņo was the first guy with 20 Hrs and 50 SBs when he did it in 1972.
(a feat accomplished many times since).
Eric Davis was the first to 25/80 in 1986. He scored 115 runs in that year also.
There's a first time for everything.
Neither of those guys cracked the top 5 in MVP voting.
I'm just devil advocating here, since I'm in the camp of "I don't care who wins, but this is interesting".
Trout is going to have to overcome the facts that
1) His team missed the playoffs and it didn't seem to be from lack of talent.
2) He missed a month of the season (not his fault, but...) (Cabrera will end with 160 games played).
3) A triple crown is a big deal. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.
Voters are voters. Who know how they end up voting. A least Trout has a lot of advocates, something Cedeņo and Davis really didn't have.
30 HR, 45 SB and 125 runs are all impressive numbers, but even though no one's hit that exact combination before, it's not like the season itself is unprecedented in its quality. Rickey Henderson in 1985, 1986 and 1990. Eric Davis in 1986 and 1987. Barry Bonds spent about a decade in that neighborhood. Trout's had a great power-speed season with a high OB. Those aren't uncommon.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
Why the hating on Alberto Callaspo?
There are a lot of very good arguments for giving Trout the MVP award but the "doing something no one has done before" argument isn't itself a very good argument. If Adam Dunn can strike out four more times he will reach 224 K's on the season, something no hitter has ever before "achieved."
I realize that argument has sometimes carried weight with voters. Maury Wills absolutely was not as valuable a player as Frank Robinson or, more importantly, Willie Mays of the pennant winning Giants in 1962, but Wills's 104 stolen bases were unprecedented and swayed voters more than Mays's 49 HRs, 141 RBI and general all around greatness.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."
Though I agree Trout's defensive awesomeness and jackrabbit speed give him a decided advantage over Cabrera, which is what that WAR differential is driving at. I just happen to think that gets overtaken by Cabrera's positional shift to the left of the defensive spectrum. For those who feel compelled to process these things in WAR terms, that move plugged a gaping hole for the Tigers and allowed the team to add Fielder, worth about 5.0 WAR overall.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
The rate that Cabrera and Trout get bases and get on base is essentially the same. The difference is negligible. But even in less PA's, Trout has put together a higher wRC+ (175 to 166) than Cabrera. Again, the difference there is not large, but it essentially shows that Trout has provided more offensive value than Cabrera on a cumulative basis than Cabrera has. So Cabrera has been on more and gotten more bases than Trout simply because he's had more opportunities to. If you (or anyone for that matter, not directing this directly at you) want to hold that against him, I'm not really sure that's fair.I supposed if I didn't consider WAR horrible at what it attempts to do, that would sway me. As an aside, I think you've just come up with an excellent argument against putting much stock in WAR. Anyway WAR is not strictly cumulative. It primarily relies on weighted measures. Cabrera has 64 TB and 21 TOB on Trout. Does that play a role over the course of a season? You bet it does. It's not the most important thing in the universe, but it is a case of accumulation that matters.
I'll admit I hadn't considered the positional shift, and think you have a decent point here. However, I personally think you're giving it too much weight. Cabrera's shift to 3B dramatically decreased his defensive value, and I don't think he deserves "credit" for the front office going out and signing a $214M first baseman. If anything it shows that the guy they signed is a pretty comparable player to Cabrera (their stat lines aren't that dissimilar), and guys with huge bats and less than stellar gloves/speed aren't that unique in baseball.Though I agree Trout's defensive awesomeness and jackrabbit speed give him a decided advantage over Cabrera, which is what that WAR differential is driving at. I just happen to think that gets overtaken by Cabrera's positional shift to the left of the defensive spectrum. For those who feel compelled to process these things in WAR terms, that move plugged a gaping hole for the Tigers and allowed the team to add Fielder, worth about 5.0 WAR overall.
Tigers made the playoffs, the Angels didn't. I think there will be some writers who will think, "If Trout is so valuable, how come the Angels missed the playoffs?". I'm not saying that's right, but it will be a factor in the MVP vote.
So, Mike Trout is such a tremendous player and so valuable that he couldn't even lead the Angels to the playoffs? Are the Angels short on talent compared to Oakland? I would argue that the Angels have more talent and yet even with Mike Trout they have failed to reach the playoffs. How is that possible if he is that valuable?
It's easy to blow-off Cabrera agreeing to move to 3b and forget that he didn't have to do that. Votto wouldn't do it. Cabrera did and that allowed Detroit to sign Fielder. It doesn't work for all'y'alls argument to give that any value but I bet even the Reds would be a better team if Votto had moved to LF so that the Reds could sign Fielder (not that the Reds had the money to do so, but saying there is no value is just discounting something that doesn't help your argument).
I believe it is Cabrera in a landslide, although there will be the people that only rely on WAR that vote for Trout; I just find it short-sighted to rely on a stat that has so many assumptions tied into calculating it. Even I can see all the talent on the Angels roster; how can adding the best player in baseball turn a playoff team into a non-playoff team and how does that make Trout the most "valuable" player?
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