Young MLB stars make case for MVP
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 09:10
October is in full swing. Texas’ redemption fell short to Baltimore and somehow the Yankees made it to the ALCS thanks to wonder boy Raul Ibanez. Late game home runs have decided who continues in the brackets as pitching continues to dominate opponents. As for the MVP race, Giants’ catcher Buster Posey is hands down the NL MVP where the AL MVP is a coin flip between Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and rookie phenom Mike Trout.
Throughout the 2012 regular season, Posey has proven to be a consistent threat to pitchers in the Giants’ lineup. Hitting for .336 with 24 homeruns, Posey’s numbers aren’t outstanding but they’re consistent. For the past three years the catcher’s batting average has been in the top tier in the NL. Driving in 103 RBI’s (ranking sixth in the NL), during the 2012 regular season and scoring 78 runs, Posey is a producer.
According to Bleacher Report, although Posey is consistent at the plate, he’s slow around the bases. Since 2009, Posey has only five total stolen bases combined; not impressive when compared to NL MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen who nabbed 20 bases during the regular season.
But where McCutchen falls short, Posey has proved to be a threat in the postseason. In Game 5 of the NLDS series between San Francisco and Cincinnati, Posey broke the pitching battle in the fifth inning with a massive grand slam to start a six run rally for the Giants to clench the series.
What separates McCutchen and Posey is that the Giants’ catcher assumed the role Melkey Cabrera left by continuing to push the Giants’ towards post-season success and possibly into the World Series.
As for the American League, it’s between Angels’ homerun thief Mike Trout and recent Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Trout made his presence heard throughout the league with his power swing and his ability to defy gravity and rob homeruns. The rookie will reign supreme over the Triple Crown winner because he is an all-around player compared to Cabrera’s one dimensional abilities as a player.
This season Cabrera led the league with a .330 batting average as well as dethroning Josh Hamilton as homerun leader by hitting 44 homeruns combined with 139 RBIs. Cabrera’s bat is well known around the league as lethal but what separates Trout from Cabrera is the third baseman’s lack of range at third base.
Bleacher Report comments that the veteran Tiger’s speed and lack of quickness hinders his reaction at the hot spot as well as base running; stealing only four bases this season compared to Trout’s 49. Although Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner since 1967, his batting ability alone will not claim the AL MVP.
Outside the fact that Trout, who is only 21, finished his rookie season with a .326 batting average, 30 homeruns with 129 runs scored, and 83 RBIs, Trout’s only downfall is that he strikes out too much (21 K percentage, reports Bleacher Report) and the Angel’s fell short of sneaking into the postseason.
Outside of recording more strikeouts, Trout has defined the next specimen for the coming generation of prospects into the league. If the rookie can continue to display performances similar to the 2012 season he will surely make his way into the Hall of Fame.