Originally Posted by DJ's left nut
No it shouldn't.
His season is marginally better than the season Jacoby Elsbury had last year. A 30/30 season with a 300+ batting average and a lot of runs scored is a very very good season and worth of MVP consideration in a lot of years, but if Cabrera had won the triple crown last season and made the playoffs, there wouldn't be a discussion on this front - he'd have probably won it unanimously over Elsbury.
Trout's had arguably the greatest rookie season in baseball history and a very very good season overall. That said, his service time and rookie status are immaterial when discussing an MVP award - a single season award. Rookies are on the same field as the vets.
Ultimately, this is a hardcore battle between the SABRE dork and the crusty old baseball men where where the stats guys are going to point at stuff like WAR and claim that Trout's smoked Cabrera when in reality he hasn't. Cabrera's been a better hitter AND he's moved to 3b and played it admirably, allowing his team to go sign Prince Fielder. Trout's advantage in WAR comes from his defensive value but even the most ardent stats guys will grudgingly concede that defensive statistics are largely crap right now (at least the ones we know about, the good ones are all in-house and the teams won't release the results).
I will allow that Cabrera's defense isn't as good as Trouts, certainly, but playing a passable 3b allowed the Tigers to go get the best LH slugger on the market and that's extremely valuable in its own right.
Yes, hell yes, I want Cabrera to win the triple crown. A) It's history and I love seeing history get made. B) It's not Albert Pujols, the presumptive favorite for the crown for a decade. C) It should be sufficient to get him the MVP and make the SABRE folks absolutely lose their goddamn minds.
And that's always fun. I love me some baseball stats, but they aren't the end all, be all. To argue that a triple crown winner and the leader of a playoff team should not get the MVP because a rookie led the league in WAR is just crazy talk to me.
I wouldn't call what Cabrera does at 3B "admirable" defense. He's fine as long as the ball is within two steps to either side (and if it is moderately well-hit, has to dive to knock it down) and is an accurate thrower. That's about it. His range is terrible.
For me, the argument for Trout is not simply his WAR (though his offensive WAR is still a smidge higher than Cabrera's for the full year).
Comparing the two, there is not a huge separation with what they've done offensively. They are clearly 1-2 in terms of offensive production in the American League. Cabrera is the best 3 hitter in baseball. Trout is the best 1 hitter in baseball.
Defensively, you don't have to use statistics to see Trout's impact in center field. He's Gold Glove caliber out there. GG defense at a premium (second- or third-most important defensive position) is an important factor.
As for a Triple Crown winner HAVING to win the MVP... hey, there's precedent for him not.