Shortly after winning the first Triple Crown in 45 years, AL MVP Miguel Cabrera led his team to the World Series, where the Tigers were swept by the San Francisco Giants and NL MVP Buster Posey.
NEW YORK — Miguel Cabrera has a Most Valuable Player award to go with his Triple Crown. And Buster Posey has an MVP prize to put alongside his second World Series ring.
The pair of batting champions won baseball's top individual honors Thursday by large margins.
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 a panel of Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The Detroit third baseman easily beat Los Angeles Angels rookie center fielder Mike Trout, who had six firsts and 281 points.
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, and he 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 the traditional statistics.
"At the end of the game, it's going to be the same baseball played back in the day," Cabrera said.
With three fewer hits or two less homers, Cabrera would have fallen short of the Triple Crown. The last 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.
Cabrera became the second straight Detroit player voted MVP, following 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.
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."
NOTES: In his first season with the Angels, Albert Pujols didn't finish among the top 10 for the first time in his career. While with St. Louis, he won three times, was second four times and also finished third, fourth, fifth and ninth. ... Catchers have won the NL MVP just eight times, with Posey joining Gabby Hartnett (1935), Lombardi (1938), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972). Posey became the first Giants player to win since Barry Bonds was voted his record seventh MVP award in 2004. ... Cabrera earned a $500,000 bonus, Adrian Beltre $150,000 for finishing third in the AL and Josh Hamilton $50,000 for fifth place. Braun gets a $75,000 bonus, and McCutchen and Molina $50,000 each. The Yankees' Derek Jeter finished seventh in the AL, one place below the level where his 2014 player option would have increased by $2 million to $10 million.