Everybody loves a good match-up; when two of the best at anything are going head to head, it get’s everyone talking. It’s safe to say that Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout have become one of sport’s best match-ups. Thy are both absolute studs and when these two meet up on the same field, make sure to be watching. So who wins this match-up?
The Detroit Tigers are out in Hollywood for a four game series beginning on Thursday, meaning there couldn’t be a better time to talk about the Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera match-up set to take place.
The meetings between Trout and Cabrera will be looked back at as being historic but perhaps that can be contributed to how equal in ability the two are. And even though they each bring their own unique playing style, the two are almost equal as far as ability goes. So let’s examine one of sport’s best match-ups.
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Mike Trout was called up just a little over two years ago on April 28th, 2012 with the hope of bringing a spark to the Angel’s lineup. And the then 20 year old did just that, having one of the most impressive rookie season in baseball history, unanimously winning the AL Rookie of the Year and finishing second in AL MVP voting. Impressive. Then comes 2013, where a sophomore slump was bound to happen. But the exact opposite of a sophomore slump occurred as Trout continued his domination, batting .323 with 97 RBI’s and 27 HR’s. Trout’s amount of walks increased greatly as he went from 67 BB in 2012 to a league leading 110 walks in 2013. Once again, Trout was named to the All Star team and finished second in MVP voting. Also impressive.
Jul 10, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) singles during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
And at this very moment, Mike Trout is in the midst of his best season yet. He already has 24 HR’s, 76 RBI, and 29 doubles; all which are well on pace to become career highs. Trout has essentially put the Angels on his back this year, leading them to a current 59-40 record and only two games back from the top of the AL West. And though he only has a total of two full season under his belt, it’s known that Trout is a rare breed. He is one of the premiere players in all of baseball and a five tool player with legendary potential.
Moving on to Miguel Cabrera…where do we even begin? Cabrera has been in the league since 2003 and immediately began dominating pitchers. Other than his rookie season in which he played 87 games, Cabrera has never had less then 105 RBI’s. He has won the past three AL batting titles, the past two AL MVP awards, and sports a career BA of .320. Throughout his career Cabrera has possessed legendary talent; a blend of power and consistency that make him one of, if not the best, hitter in the league. Despite he is only halfway through his career, a plaque in Cooperstown is already awaiting him.
Jul 21, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In every match-up there’s a winner and there’s a loser. But as far as Trout vs. Cabrera goes, there is no winner, but that’s what makes the rivalry one of the bests is that there is no clear winner. This opens the door to debate and analysis and discussion galore. The two have been first and second in MVP voting over the past two years and even appeared on ESPN Magazine together. When it comes to certain match-ups, we all know who is better or who the winner is but it’s a draw in this case.. They each bring different elements to the game which makes it hard to measure who is better. Trout is faster and a better defender but Cabrera hits with more power and consistency Cabrera has more years in the majors than Trout, thus he has more credentials to his name. But Trout is the future of baseball. And the two are so close as far as talent goes, making it even harder to decide. Trout and Cabrera have finished first and second in MVP voting over the past two years and can both 25+ HR’s every year while batting above .300 as well. All I’m saying is that to see these two “once in a generation” hitters square off against each other is exhilarating.
So who does win the battle of baseball’s best?