Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
In the end it wasn't close, as Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera easily out-polled rookie Mike Trout to win his first Most Valuable Player Award.
To nobody's surprise, Miguel Cabrera has been named the American League's Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. And it wasn't close, as Cabrera was listed first on 22 of the 28 ballots. Mike Trout took the other eight first-place votes, and finished second. Trout appeared first or second on 27 ballots; he was third on the other, which featured Adrian Beltre in the second slot.
Cabrera had a lot of things going for him this year. When the Tigers signed Prince Fielder, Cabrera seemed perfectly happy to shift from first base to third, and he played as well there as anyone could reasonably have expected. At the plate, he turned in one of his typically brilliant seasons. Oh, and he became the first Triple Crown winner -- leading his league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in -- since 1967.
In fact, before Cabrera, only three players had won the Triple Crown since 1950, and all three were named Most Valuable Player after the season. Too, it didn't hurt that Cabrera's team finished in first place, and that he hit like gangbusters in the second half of the season when the Tigers were coming from behind. It was the sort of season that, in any sort of year in baseball history, would have resulted in an MVP Award. And so it did in this one, too.
In the National League, Hunter Pence won the award for Strangest Appearance on an MVP Ballot. In the American League the winner is Raúl Ibañez, who showed up 10th on a Detroit writer's ballot. Here are the complete A.L. voting results, including all 28 ballots.