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Awards season: Miguel Cabrera voted AL Most Valuable Player

The BBWAA went against the sabermetric grain, awarding AL MVP to Miguel Cabrera by a surprising margin. The NL MVP was not a surprise, Buster Posey taking the award.

Jonathan Daniel

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the last of their big 4 awards tonight, Most Valuable Player.

The AL MVP has been a two man race since August, Tigers 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera versus Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

Though many fans fall in the large gray area between advanced metrics and batting average/home runs/RBI, the WAR (pun intended) raged between sabermatricians and old-school stat traditionalists as to who was the AL MVP. Fans of advanced metrics were in the Trout camp, those who appreciated more traditional stats wanted Cabrera rewarded for capturing the first Triple Crown in 45 years.

Both are worthy of the award, but only one would win.

The BBWAA went against the sabermetric grain, awarding the AL MVP to Miguel Cabrera. The vote wasn't as close as expected, Cabrera topped Trout 362-281. Cabrera was listed first on 22 of 28 ballots, and second on the other 6. Trout took the 6 remaining first place votes.

The top 5 was rounded out by Rangers 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre in third, 2nd baseman Robinson Cano of the Yankees finished fourth and Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was fifth.

Two other Tigers received votes. Justin Verlander and Prince Fielder cracked the top 10, placing eighth and ninth, respectively.

Cabrera becomes the first Venezuelan and the 10th Tiger to capture the MVP. It's the third time Tigers have won the MVP in consecutive seasons, Verlander taking the award in 2011. Cabrera has finished in the top 5 in MVP voting the past 5 seasons.

Detroit Tigers who have won MVP: Mickey Cochrane (1934), Hank Greenberg (1935, 1940), Charlie Gehringer (1937), Hal Newhouser (1944, 1945). Denny McLain (1968), Willie Hernandez (1984), Justin Verlander (2011), Miguel Cabrera (2012).

AL MVP Award voting top 10: (Click here to see each writer's ballot)

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 22 6 362
Mike Trout, Angels 6 21 1 281
Adrian Beltre, Rangers 1 16 9 1 1 210
Robinson Cano, Yankees 6 10 1 1 3 2 1 149
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 3 6 5 8 2 3 1 127
Adam Jones, Orioles 1 2 8 5 4 3 2 124
Derek Jeter, Yankees 2 1 4 1 3 2 1 1 73
Justin Verlander, Tigers 2 3 3 2 1 1 58
Prince Fielder, Tigers 1 5 1 2 5 5 56
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 1 2 2 3 2 4 41

Buster Posey
was the consensus favorite going into Thursday's ceremony, and BBWAA agreed. The Giants catcher won the NL Most Valuable Player Award over the 2011 MVP, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, 422-285.

Posey carried 27 first place votes to Braun's 3. Posey was no lower than third on every ballot.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, the recipient of the Player's Choice Player of the Year, finished 3rd with 245 votes. The 2 remaining first place votes went Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who was the fourth place vote getter with 241. 3rd baseman Chase Headley of the Padres filled out the top 5 with 127 votes.

Posey is the 8th catcher and 13th Giant to win NL MVP. In finishing 2nd, Braun was the 8th player in NL history to place second in the balloting the year after winning the MVP Award.

NL MVP Award voting top 10: (Click here to see each writer's ballot)

Buster Posey, Giants 27 4 1 422
Ryan Braun, Brewers 3 15 10 4 285
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 6 13 11 1 1 245
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 2 6 8 13 241
Chase Headley, Padres 1 9 7 5 5 1 127
David Wright, Mets 7 4 1 3 4 3 86
Adam LaRoche, Nationals 6 5 2 5 1 86
Craig Kimbrel, Braves 1 3 5 2 2 3 1 73
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 1 1 4 6 1 47
Jay Bruce, Reds 2 1 3 2 1 46

Will the 2012 AL MVP going to the Triple Crown winner end the contentiousness between fans of advanced metrics and those who prefer traditional numbers? Oh Hell no.

To be honest, there was no wrong answer between Cabrera and Trout. Both had MVP worthy seasons. But as a Tigers fan, I'm ecstatic Cabrera was finally recognized for his greatness with a Most Valuable Player Award.

Cabrera's off season awards haul has been impressive. He has won the Hank Aaron Award, the Luis Aparicio Award and a Silver Slugger, along with being named Sporting News and Players Choice Player of the Year.

The cherry on top is AL MVP.

2012 BBWAA award winners:

Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout (Angels), Bryce Harper (Nationals)
Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin (Athletics), Davey Johnson (Nationals)
Cy Young: David Price (Rays), R.A. Dickey (Mets)
Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Buster Posey (Giants)