It was generally presumed that Chris Davis was a long-shot to garner the MVP of the American League along with his Silver Slugger Award. And indeed, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers won for the second consecutive year, while Angels center fielder Mike Trout placed second – dropping Davis to the third position.
The voting is done by 30 writers of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) where there are two ballots cast from each of the 15 American League cities. The scoring from one through 10 is as follows: 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Chris Davis received only one first-place vote – from Bill Ballou of Boston. He was second on four ballots, third on 11 ballots, and fourth on 12 sheets. Apparently unimpressed with 53 home runs was Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, who scored Davis as seventh on his ballot!
Many fan comments on varied Orioles sites and blogs demonstrated a measure of dissatisfaction with the results. The favorite son of Baltimore would have won easily in his hometown. So was Crush unjustly overlooked?
I don’t think so.
His 53 home runs topped Cabrera’s 44, and that is a strong point for Davis – as we may recall around mid-season the Tigers’ fans’ expectation that their guy would overcome Davis’ early lead. Cabrera had only one less RBI than Davis – 137 as compared to 138; but it is the batting average category that separates the two. Miggy is a hitting machine at .348, whereas Davis was 62 points lower at .286. The walks and strikeouts are dramatically different also, as Cabrera walked 90 times while striking out on 94 occasions. Davis tallied 72 walks and a whopping 199 strikeouts.
Trout is arguably the best all-around player in the game… and not because he has the highest WAR statistic in the sport (a stat I rather despise). He led the AL in runs scored with 109 and walks with 110. Along the way he batted .323 and hit 27 homers while knocking in 97 runs. And, oh yes, he also swiped 33 bases! But this was only good for second place for the second consecutive year.
Cabrera was the first AL player to win in consecutive years since Frank Thomas accomplished the same in 1993-94.
Chances are pretty good that the same three names will be in the running for the top spot in 2014.