La Velle E. Neal III's Sunday Insider: Angels' Trout is the right pick for AL MVP

He passes the eye test and numbers test. Miguel Cabrera, Triple Crown or not, isn't as important to his team.


Angels 21-year-old outfielder Mike Trout is going to get at least one writer's vote for AL MVP.

Photo: Paul Bersebach,, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Everyone wants to talk about WAR these days.

That's WAR, as in Wins Above Replacement, the statistic (taken from several statistics) that determines how many wins a player is worth if he replaces an average player. It's an attempt to measure a player's total contribution to a team.

WAR, this season, is supposed to convince us that Angels outfielder Mike Trout has had a better season than Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera -- who is in the running to win the first Triple Crown since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

According to Trout leads baseball with a WAR of 10.6. Cabrera is fourth in the AL at 6.6.

But you don't need the finest in statistical engineering to see that Trout has had the most impact of any player on any team this year.

In 132 games, Trout is batting .323 with 28 homers, 78 RBI and 47 stolen bases. He is the five-tool player every team tries to draft.

He covers massive ground in the outfield, making him an ERA reducer. Cabrera is not a strong defensive player. Trout can reach base and steal bases with his speed. Cabrera, ahem, is not sculpted that way.

And, if you apply the Morneau Doctrine of 2006 -- he won the MVP that year because the Twins took off in June once he started hitting -- the Angels have played .591 ball since Trout joined them in late April.

If Cabrera somehow pulls off the Triple Crown feat, it will be an amazing accomplishment. But he's not the Most Valuable Player.

You go to the ballpark to watch Miguel Cabrera hit.

You go to the ballpark to watch Mike Trout play.

And if a player like Trout can throw multiple dimensions at you like he has, then he deserves the nod over Cabrera in the comparison of outstanding seasons. WAR confirms what the Extra Innings package shows us.

With that out of the way, here's one person's prediction of how the postseason awards will shake out:

AL MVP: Trout. See above.

NL MVP: Buster Posey, Giants. Played out of his mind during the second half.

AL Cy Young: David Price, Rays. Helped keep the Rays in contention.

NL Cy Young: R.A. Dickey, Mets. A knuckleballer with excellent control.

AL Rookie of the Year: Trout. See above.

NL Rookie of the Year: Wade Miley, Diamondbacks. Has walked only 37 batters in 187 innings.

AL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, Orioles. Everyone expected them to be crummy.

NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker, Reds. Team didn't skip a beat when Joey Votto was injured.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle 2 Bottom 9th Inning
Texas 1
Boston 1 Top 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 3
Kansas City 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Houston 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
LA Angels 0
Colorado 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 1
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Francisco 0
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 1st OT 0:01
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 134 2nd OT 0:10
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 18 1st Qtr 5:24
Denver 10
LA Clippers 6 1st Qtr 8:05
Portland 13
Phoenix 13 1st Qtr 5:09
Sacramento 13
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 0 1st Prd :35
Anaheim 2
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question