In 2012 and 2013 Cabrera was the American League MVP. Sabermetric people like to scoff at the voters and say Mike Trout who had more WAR was the MVP. However, I disagree as there is something that Cabrera did for his team that isn’t measured in WAR. The Tigers signed Prince Fielder in the off season before 2012 to play first base. They asked Cabrera to move to third base. A harder position to play and one that Cabrera never mastered. What does Cabrera do? He wins the triple crown and leads Detroit to the division title. I would have voted him as MVP. Both Trout and Cabrera had great years again in 2013. To me it is a toss-up, although Cabrera was still playing out of position for the good of the team.
Cabrera had 13 great seasons from age 21 to 33. Surprising enough, he was better at hitting for average than hitting for power. He won four batting titles for leading the league in batting average. He won two slugging average. Cabrera has played four seasons since age 33 and hasn’t had a good season due to injuries and getting old. Those two pretty much go hand in hand. The man is still a dangerous hitter, but doesn’t due it with the consistency he used to.