Scioscia: Age not part of MVP equation

Scioscia: Age not part of MVP equation

Scioscia: Age not part of MVP equation
DETROIT -- Mike Trout was 11 years old when third baseman Miguel Cabrera made his Major League debut in 2003 with the then-Florida Marlins. Nine years later, he finds himself as a frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player award along with the Tigers' slugger.

Trout's willing, but not too big on talking about the award -- mostly because he's focused on team goals and says the individual stuff can be sorted out at the end of the year.

"He's one of the best hitters in the game," said Trout, when asked about Cabrera. "... He gets ahead of the count [and] he's very dangerous, as you see. He's got the power, he's got the power to all fields. And [with] two strikes, he just fouls off them tough pitches -- and when he gets his pitch, he doesn't miss it."

Angels outfielder Torii Hunter had similar praise for Cabrera on Saturday.

"He's one of the best in the game. Right now, he's the best in the game," Hunter said. "The numbers he's put up are pretty impressive. I mean, you let this guy play another seven to 10 years, he's going to break all kinds of records. He's going to destroy [them]."

As it stands, the MVP race is unquestionably close between Trout and Cabrera, who have distanced themselves from the pack.

Entering Sunday's series finale in the Motor City, Trout was batting .338 with 24 home runs, 72 RBIs, 99 runs scored and a .991 OPS. Cabrera, who was out of the Tigers' starting lineup on Sunday with right ankle soreness, was hitting .324 with 32 home runs, 106 RBIs and a .977 OPS in 22 more games.

When the clubs last met in July, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said on the radio that Trout's "wonderboy" story could give him an advantage over Cabrera in the voting.

Angels skipper Mike Scioscia said there's many factors that determine the MVP -- offensive statistics, a team's record and how a player plays defensively to name three. But he doesn't believe age is one of them.

"There's a lot of things that are in that equation that would get you to that final determination [of] who is the most valuable player to a team," Scioscia said. "There's a lot of different ways to slice it up, but I personally feel, yeah, where a team finishes or what a guy contributes to a club outside of what he maybe does in the batter's box is all maybe part of the equation.

"I think to Mike's credit, I mean his numbers were just so incredibly off the charts that he deserved that recognition. But I don't think length of service has anything at all to do with the MVP."