Josh Hamilton wins AL MVP award; Cabrera finishes second
FOX Sports Detroit
Don't mess with Texas. At least not when it comes to competing with them for baseball's postseason awards.
Last week Rangers closer Neftali Feliz beat out Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson for AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Today it was Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton beating out Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera for the American League Most Valuable Player award.
It wasn't even that close a race as Hamilton took 22 of the 28 first-place votes, earning 358 points. Cabrera had five first-place votes and 262 points. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano finished third.
Of course, the Rangers earning a postseason berth no doubt helped both Feliz and Hamilton as voting took place at the end of the regular season.
Here are the statistical comparisons: Hamilton had an AL-leading .359 batting average to Cabrera's .328, 95 runs scored to Cabrera's 111, 100 RBIs to Cabrera's league-leading 126, 32 home runs to Cabrera's 38, .633 slugging percentage to Cabrera's .622.
Hamilton missed almost the entire month of September with two broken ribs.
Clearly, both Hamilton and Cabrera had career years. But Cabrera had far less support than Hamilton did.
Michael Young hit .284 with 21 home runs and 91 RBIs batting ahead of Hamilton. Magglio Ordonez was hitting well (.303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs) but his season was cut to 84 games by a fractured ankle.
Vladimir Guerrero batted .300 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs hitting behind Hamilton. Rookie Brennan Boesch had an amazing May and June but faltered after the All-Star break and finished with a .256 average, 14 home runs and 67 RBIs.
Hamilton also had Nelson Cruz (.318, 22, 78) and David Murphy (.291, 12, 65) in the lineup.
The Tigers had Brandon Inge, who hit .247 with 13 home runs and 70 RBIs, and Alex Avila, who hit .228 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs.
Well, perhaps Victor Martinez, the switch-hitting catcher with whom the Tigers are reportedly close to a four-year deal, will help Cabrera next season. In his eight-year career, Martinez has a .300 career average with 131 homers and 638 RBIs.
Martinez, a fellow Venezuela native, turns 32 on Dec. 23.
Cabrera has the talent to compete for MVP honors every year so hopefully next year he can stay healthy, put up similar numbers to this past season -- it would be hard to be better -- and get some support in the lineup so the voting goes his way next year.
Nov. 23, 2010