Jim Leyland: Miguel Cabrera deserves MVP over ‘Wonderboy’ Mike Trout

Miguel Cabrera is having an outstanding season for the Tigers. It’s the type of season we have come to expect from the 29-year-old over his 13-year career. Cabrera has 29 homers to go along with 95 RBI. His batting average is an impressive .322 and his on-base percentage is a solid .384. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but Cabrera is a definite American League MVP contender. The only problem is a 21-year-old named Mike Trout could stand in his way.

As his manager, Jim Leyland is obviously pulling for Cabrera to win the award. However, the logic he used to support his third baseman during an interview with WXYT 97.1 Radio in Detroit on Thursday was puzzling.

“I mean this respectfully,” Leyland said according to ESPN.com. “I don’t mean this disrespectfully — I think what could be a little problem for Miggy is in my opinion Miggy is the MVP. Now we have time left, if the voting was today Miggy is the MVP. However, he could run into one of the wonder boy stories. You know, young kid, 20 years old. Everyone gets excited about that. Everybody loves that, has a nice ring to it.”

It gets better. Trout’s batting average of .345 places him atop the AL ahead of Cabrera, who is in second with an average that’s more than 20 points lower. Despite spending a good portion of the first month of the season in the minors, Trout is leading the AL in runs scored (87) and stolen bases (36). He also has an outstanding on-base percentage of .409 and has added 20 homers and 60 RBI. In the field, Trout has made amazing catches like this one and been the best defensive outfielders in the game.

While Leyland acknowledged that those numbers are impressive and called Trout an “unbelievable” player, he said Miggy deserves the award because he has done it longer.

“Trout is one of the best young players I’ve ever seen,” he said. “But at the same time, I think when you do it over a period of time — a little bit longer — I think that should have something to say about it. I think the numbers that Miggy has had over his career, and he’s putting up unbelievable numbers again this year, I think that should be a part of it.”

Since when did the MVP become a career achievement award? Ron Washington may be right that is is premature to compare Trout to Willie Mays, but Leyland’s reasoning makes absolutely no sense. Trout is having the best all-around season of any player in the AL and perhaps all of baseball. His age and tenure in the league have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he is an MVP candidate.

Photo credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/martyj1 Marty Jones

    Leyland is correct.  The reason his logic makes sense is because there have been several years Miggy should have won the award.   Now some young talented kid who has never been a runner-up  in the MVP voting is going to get it because he is white and plays in LA.   Just take a look at Miggy’s average in the late innings and his game winning hits.  He is also playing a GREAT 3rd base.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Just because Cabrera didn’t win it when he should have doesn’t mean you should take it away from Trout if he deserves it. And Trout does NOT play in LA. Anaheim is an hour away and hardly has any media coverage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/martyj1 Marty Jones

     Good point.  I am not saying that Trout shouldn’t win it.  However, even if you ignore Miguel’s past he is still having a year that rivals the one Trout is having.   I give Trout a slight edge, but it is not a run away like everyone is talking.   BTW,  I never believed Verlander’s was a runaway like everyone talked.

  • bakobob60

    If a person believes Miggy deserves the MVP that’s fine. However, it has nothing to do with any other season…only this one. I give Trout a slight edge because of his speed and superior defense. Also, let’s cut out the “white guy in LA” garbage. Cries of racism are thrown out so randomly that it no longer has any value. Miggy is the best hitter in the AL and Trout may be the best all round player.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.ortega.142 Steve Ortega

    Amen,to that.Cabrera for MVP,because he has had Detroit on his back all season.