Miguel Cabrera named AL MVP

Miguel Cabrera has a Most Valuable Player award to go with his Triple Crown.

The Detroit Tigers slugger won the American League's MVP on Thursday, beating rookie phenom Mike Trout by a much wider margin than most anticipated.

Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, won the AL MVP by receiving 22-of-28 first-place votes and 362 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He easily beat Trout, who had six firsts and 281 points.

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre finished third with 210 points, followed by New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (149). Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton finished fifth.

Cabrera became the second straight Detroit player voted MVP, after pitcher Justin Verlander in 2011, and was the first Venezuelan to earn the honor. Countryman Pablo Sandoval took home World Series MVP honors last month.

Cabrera hit .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs to become the first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera also led the league with a .606 slugging percentage for the AL champion Tigers.

Some of the more sabermetric-focused fans supported Trout, who hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs. He also led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals and topped all players in WAR -- Wins Above Replacement. Trout won AL Rookie of the Year earlier in the week.

"I was a little concerned. I thought the new thing about computer stuff, I thought Trout's going to win because they put his numbers over me," Cabrera said. "I was like relax. ... If he wins, it's going to be fair because he had a great season."

His victory is a win for traditional statistics.

"At the end of the game, it's going to be the same baseball played back in the day," Cabrera said.

Among Trout's superlative numbers was a WAR of 10.7, highest by a position player since Barry Bonds' 11.6 in 2002. Cabrera's WAR was 6.9, fourth in the AL behind Trout, Cano and Verlander.

WAR summarizes a player's all-around contributions to his team in one statistic -- not just batting but also baserunning and defense -- and it weighs contributions in terms of their impact on creating (or preventing on defense) runs.

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, who was named NL MVP on Thursday, followed the AL debate and Googled to find out the winner.

"I think it intrigued everybody," he said. "As a fan of the game, it was a fun race to watch."

With three fewer hits or two less homers, Cabrera would have fallen short of the Triple Crown. The past four Triple Crown winners have been voted MVP, including Mickey Mantle in 1956 and Frank Robinson in 1966.

"I think winning the Triple Crown had a lot to do with me winning this honor," he said.

Before the season, Cabrera switched from first base to third to make way for Prince Fielder, who signed with Detroit as a free agent.

"I focused too much in spring training about defense, defense, defense," Cabrera said. "I forgot a little bit about hitting, about getting in the cage like I normally do."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.