Looking back at Miguel Cabrera's 2010 season: Should he have won AL MVP?

Miguel Cabrera's 2010 season was fantastic, but not winning the AL MVP that season still stings.
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Miggy month keeps rolling along here at Motor City Bengals. Today, we're going to look back at one of his better, but less talked about season in a Detroit Tigers uniform: his 2010 campaign.

This was the first year where everyone began to see Miguel Cabrera's greatness. He racked up 6.1 fWAR in 2010, hitting 38 homer runs and slashing .328/.420/.622. His strikout rate was just 1% higher (14.7%) than his walk rate (13.7%). His ISO was a career-best .294. It was an outstanding season.

He was an All-Star, as well as the American League's Silver Slugger for first baseman that season. It was the first season in an insane run from that lasted through the 2013 season.

There's just some small thing. Remember Josh Hamilton? Remember how good he was in 2010? If not, let us remind you.

Hamilton hit .359 in 2010. That's right, three hundred and fifty-nine. He had a 175 wRC+ and a whopping 8.4 fWAR. He hit 32 home runs. He did this all in just 133 games.

He missed the final month of the 2010 season with a rib injury after crashing into an outfield wall. Because of that, many people thought Miggy should have won the MVP that season because he was able to stay healthy.

The fact of the matter is, Hamilton was better in nearly every category despite missing the final 29 games.

Miggy hit more home runs and walked more, but that was about it. Hamilton had a much higher WAR, mostly due to the fact that he played a much more premium position in the oufield, splitting time between CF and LF. His .359 batting average was tops in the league. He had the highest slugging percentage and OPS in the league as well.

Finally, to address the elephant in the room, Hamilton played on a team that not only made the playoffs, but went to the World Series, eventually falling to the Giants in five games. The 2010 Tigers finished with a .500 record at 81-81.

It would have been interesting to see what difference it would have made, if any, had the Tigers made the playoffs that season. Miggy was more than deserving of winning the MVP. We've seen players win MVP or a Cy Young award on non-playoff teams before.

Miggy ended up as the MVP runner-up in 2010. He would get his flowers in seasons to come, but not winning it 2010 still stings a bit. It was quite the debate back then, and the numbers still do back up Hamilton winning it. But man, it would have been cool for Miggy to win three MVPS in four seasons.

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