Predicting This Year's MLB MVPs: Trout? Posey? Cabrera?

Hampton,

I don't think I can adequately follow up your sensual, epic metaphor, but I can agree with your MVP picks. The NL race is getting more cut and dried by the day as Posey leaves McCutchen and his dreadlocks in the rear-view mirror. Since the All-Star Break, Posey has put up a nearly incomprehensible slash line of .388/.466/.650 (batting average/OBP/slugging) with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs, AS A CATCHER. The Giants have risen with their young catcher, posting a 39-23 record since the break to take an 8.5-game lead in the NL West. Meanwhile, McCutchen struggled in August, hitting just .252/.347/.346, and is batting under .300 for September. Unsurprisingly, the Pirates have slowly collapsed over the past six weeks, going 11-27 since August 8. It's a powerful example of what makes a player Most Valuable, and Posey should be a shoo-in for the award after leading the Giants to a division title.

In the American League, Trout and Cabrera are both great choices and would have crushed best-of-a-bad-year MVP winner Justin Verlander (the first pitcher to win the MVP in either league since 1992) last season. The hitting numbers point to Miggy, who has a .333/.396/.612 slash line with 40 home runs and 129 RBIs with 15 games to go in the season. A homer-happy finish by Cabrera, who's currently two longballs behind Josh Hamilton for the AL lead, could give him baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967. In the understatement of the column, that would probably merit an MVP award.

And yet... if Cabrera falls even one home run or batting average point short of the Triple Crown, it's hard to see him beating out the Angels' 20-year old phenom. Trout did spend most of April in the minors, yet he leads the AL in runs (118) and stolen bases (46). Factor in his Ken Griffey Jr.-esque fielding (check out this catch, or this one), and Trout's Wins Above Replacement Player (WAR) of 10.3 far outstrips Cabrera's 6.3 total. If it's true that wins are the most valuable asset a team can accumulate (and it is), then Trout has to win the MVP, because he has truly been most valuable to his team.

You agree with us, Patrick?

–Jake

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Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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