Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/13/12
Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the best choice for American League MVP. He is the only player in the league with a distinct chance at winning the Triple Crown, and is carrying his team toward the postseason once again. In fact, the only serious MVP challengers Cabrera has right now are Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton and Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout. The choice for the leagues top honor, won last year by Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, is determined by not only statistics but the impact a player makes on the game. Cabrera is hard to beat in both instances. Trout should win the batting title, while Cabrera and Josh Hamilton are running away from the pack for the RBI crown. Cabrera, after what for him was a slow start, also could challenge Hamilton and White Sox slugger Adam Dunn for the home run title. Cabrera has a shot at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Red Sox left fielder Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. If Trout comes down a bit from his .340 through Sunday and Cabrera comes up from his .324, it could happen. But it has been 45 years since anybodys accomplished the feat, and the odds are against him. Keep in mind, however, that Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez are the only three active players to have won the three titles in separate seasons. Cabrera hit .344 to win the 2011 batting title; 37 homers to finish on top in 2008; and a league-leading 126 RBIs in 2010. The only other Tiger to lead all three categories was Ty Cobb, the 1909 Triple Crown winner. Yastrzemski, by the way, was the AL MVP. And winning the Triple Crown would make Cabrera a virtual lock for that, too. Great numbers get you in the conversation. Great performances get you the award. Cabreras game-winning, two-run homer in the 10th inning against the New York Yankees on Aug. 5 was the kind of show-stopper required of MVPs. And he constantly picks up the club like he did Sunday. The Tigers were on the verge of stranding runners on second and third after Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks struck out. But Cabrera laced a two-run double into the corner against Rangers rookie Yu Darvish, one of the games toughest pitchers. He is generally considered the games best hitter, and the respect he receives is exhibited in what happens each time he comes to bat in a key situation. The pitching coach or manager trots out to the mound to discuss matters with the pitcher and catcher. The message goes something like this: Stop hyper-ventilating. Take a deep breath. Dont give him anything to hit, Meat. Hey, walk him if you have to. Want to walk him? Though, the intentional walks have greatly decreased with the arrival of Prince Fielder to hit behind him. And thats significant. Cabrera could reach the 40-homer and 130-RBI plateaus for the first time -- in part because pitchers must give him more pitches to hit. Now, Trout is the superior defender. His three homer-saving leaps are some of the most amazing ever. And Cabrera is just an average fielder. But in the last 10 years, just four of the 20 MVP winners in the two leagues also won a Gold Glove the same season. Those were Twins catcher Joe Mauer (2009), Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (2008), Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (2008) and then Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez (2003). Hitting tends to win out where the award is considered. Trout (.340, 21 homers, 65 RBIs) is impressive with the bat, but doesnt match up in production with Cabrera (.324, 29, 98) or Hamilton (.291, 32, 99). He hit his 25th career homer Tuesday on his 21st birthday, and only 10 others have hit 25 by the day they turned 21. Mel Ott had the most homers in that group with 61, and is followed by Tony Conigliaro (56), Ken Griffey, Jr. (38), Mickey Mantle (36), Frank Robinson (35), Al Kaline (32), Alex Rodriguez (27), Andruw Jones (26), Orlando Cepeda (25) and Eddie Mathews (25). Pujols, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski could join the MVP hunt with Cabrera, Hamilton and Trout before all is said and done. Even Fielder could enter the conversation with a monster-like finish, and hes definitely capable of that. Cabrera has come close before, and he got my first-place vote in the Baseball Writers Association of America balloting when finishing second to Hamilton in 2010. He has finished in the top five in three consecutive years and has five overall (two with the Marlins) top five showings. In fact, he has received some votes for MVP in each of his nine seasons. At the age of 29, his time has arrived. Cabrera deserves to be the leagues MVP this year. A little less than two months remain. Plenty can happen. Players can get hot or cold. They can get hurt. But barring some unforeseen change of events, Jose Miguel Cabrera should be the AL MVP.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker