Let’s go through the rest of the big three. The weakness of RBIs are obvious. It is very much a team-dependent stat. Certainly driving in runs is important, but it is very much a result of the number of times your teammates get on base.
Home runs are important to tabulate. But what about doubles? Or triples? Don’t those count? Adam Dunn has more home runs this year than Robinson Cano, Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout, Chase Headley, and Prince Fielder. To borrow Thorn’s methodology, do you want to tell me you’d take Dunn over any of those five? Not a chance. So let’s not blindly follow any of these stats, let alone all three thrown together.
Now that, hopefully, we see the Triple Crown to be the antiquated throwback that it is, we can also admit that anyone winning it has had a monstrous offensive season. So the real question is: Who’s having the better season, Cabrera or Trout, the Angels’ rookie outfielder?
...By things we can easily measure, Trout is about dead even with Cabrera in total bases while hitting and running at a higher level, doing so in 58 fewer plate appearances, and making 21 fewer outs via double plays alone. He is also 30 runs better defensively. It’s just not close.
Look, if Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown this year, he deserves to be put alongside Carl Yastrzemski, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. It just doesn’t mean, on its own, that he was the best player in the American League. He’s not. Mike Trout is.
Good analysis asks the question, then answers it based on evidence. Lazy analysis has a conclusion, then looks for anything to back it up. When you ask, “Who is the best player in the American League?” the answer this year, even with the possibility of a Triple Crown, is inescapable.
Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM | 57 comment(s)
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