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Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen are your AL/NL MVPs

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Cabrera repeats as winner while McCutchen earns Pittsburgh’s first MVP since Barry Bonds.

Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen are your AL/NL MVPs

For the second straight season, Miguel Cabrera topped Mike Trout for the American League MVP Award. Cabrera again won in a landslide victory to earn the award, and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won the award in the National League.

The debate is always going to continue over whether Cabrera and his traditional stats deserve to win out over Trout and his balanced but elite production across the board. While I think Trout might be the better overall player, you can't say that Cabrera isn't a deserving choice for the award, either. Trout led all of baseball in the advanced stat WAR (despite his decline in some defensive metrics this season) and some incredible overall numbers (33 steals, AL-leading 110 walks and 109 runs to go with a phenomenal line of .323/27/97. 

Cabrera still won out with by leading all of baseball in the slash lines (.348 batting average, .442 on-base percentage, .636 slugging percentage, 1.037 OPS and a 187 OPS+). It helped that he also chipped in 44 home runs and 137 RBI, but what ultimately helped Cabrera was the performance of his team. The Detroit Tigers were leaps and bounds better than the Los Angeles Angels this season. Should that play into how well the individual players performed? I personally don't think so. That's where the subjective term of "valuable" will always skew how this award gets picked. Cabrera is clearly the best hitter in baseball, but Trout is definitely the best player in the American League (and perhaps all of baseball). So while Cabrera is deserving, Trout again is an unlucky bridesmaid.

Over in the NL, there was really no other choice besides McCutchen. Even though he had some better statistics last year, you can't deny how great his play was on the field and what he meant to a rejuvenated Pittsburgh franchise that made the postseason for the first time since 1992. McCutchen had another terrific year which saw him bat .317 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI, pick up 27 steals, accrue a .404 OBP and was second only to Carlos Gomez in WAR. Pittsburgh doesn't have the kind of year they had without Andrew McCutchen, and he was completely deserving.

To see the rest of the award-winners for the 2013 MLB season, click here.

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