Miggy repeats with pair of GIBBYs
Tigers slugger voted MLB Hitter of the Year and Most Valuable Player
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera has won awards from nearly every baseball-affiliated group imaginable over the past couple of years. He has now repeated the vote of the fans.
Not only did Cabrera earn his second consecutive honor as MLB Hitter of the Year as part of the Greatness in Baseball Year (GIBBY) Awards, he also repeated as the MLB Most Valuable Player, beating out Mike Trout for a second consecutive year.
MLB's A-listers won GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. More than 10 million votes were cast by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards featured nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors went to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best Starting Pitcher, Hitter, Closer, Setup Man, Rookie, Breakout Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Comeback Player, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive and Postseason Performer.
GIBBY trophies also were awarded for the year's top Play, Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-off, Cut4 Topic, Regular-Season Moment and Postseason Moment, with video available via MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
GIBBYs categories included players from both leagues and performances not only from the regular season but also through the end of the playoffs, making them unique in singling out the best of the best.
All 30 clubs were represented among the award candidates. In fact, every team had multiple nominees in 2013 -- a testament to the immense talent spread throughout the game.
Again, however, none seemingly compared to the talent of Cabrera, who took 61.6 percent of the vote for Hitter of the Year -- the only candidate over 10 percent -- and 48.8 percent of votes for MVP compared to Trout's 19.4 percent.
A year after becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, Cabrera didn't repeat, but he improved in most statistics, from a career-best .348 average to a 30-point jump in slugging percentage (.636) to a 49-point leap in on-base percentage (.442). He became the first player to lead the league in all three categories since Joe Mauer in 2009, the year he won AL MVP in a near-unanimous vote.
Cabrera matched his home-run total despite hitting only one in September. He fell one short of his previous season's RBI total despite playing in 13 fewer games and having 18 fewer at-bats with runners in scoring position. He not only led baseball with a 1.078 OPS, he topped everyone else in baseball by at least 74 points, the largest gap by a player since Barry Bonds in 2004.
Cabrera did it not only with a groin injury that hampered him in September and required surgery at season's end, but with injuries that limited his mobility since the end of June.
"I think 90 percent of baseball players would've been sitting on the couch not playing, dealing with what he's dealt with this year," teammate Justin Verlander said in October.
Though the Tigers managed to win over a few different stints with Cabrera out for a few days, they went just 13-13 in September with a hampered Cabrera, averaging fewer than four runs a game.