Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/13/12
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the best choice for AL 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

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Gregory going to treatment after another drug violation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

Brian Cashman defends A-Rod despite season's struggles

Report: Charles’ workload won’t be limited if healthy

Blue Jays agree to acquire Melvin Upton

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

Durant shopped for OKC home week before joining Warriors?

Jarron, Jason Collins speak in support of LGBTQ rights at DNC

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

The crowning achievement of Sasha Banks

Six best QB battles to watch during training camp

Kobe Bryant called ‘a–hole’ in LeBron James-produced show

Top five storylines heading into MLB trade deadline

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

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

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