NEW YORK (AP) — All those who marvel at Miguel Cabrera can only wonder what he might’ve done this year if completely healthy.
Even so, Cabrera was a huge hit in Motown.
Despite being hobbled by all sorts of ailments, the Detroit Tigers slugger won his second straight American League Most Valuable Player award Thursday, once again beating Angels outfielder Mike Trout by a comfortable margin.
A season after winning baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years, Cabrera came back to lead the majors in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs.
“I think this year was tougher because of the injuries,” he said on a conference call from the Miami area.
“It was the last two months. It was tough to play through it,” he said.
The eight-time All-Star missed several games after the break because of a bad back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower abdomen, shin trouble and a groin tear. He recently had surgery to fix the tear and said he’ll be ready for spring training.
Still, Cabrera got 23 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He became the first player to win consecutive AL MVPs since Frank Thomas for the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and 1994.
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen took the NL MVP by a surprisingly wide margin after leading a baseball revival in Pittsburgh.
McCutchen drew 28 of the 30 first-place votes to finish far ahead of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
“I’m floating right now,” McCutchen said in Pittsburgh. “But I definitely didn’t expect it to be a landslide with those other guys — Goldschmidt and Molina. They were great candidates and I didn’t know what to expect.”
McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting .317 with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also scored 97 runs, stole 27 bases and had a .404 on-base percentage.
The 27-year-old with the long, flowing dreadlocks helped the Pirates stop a record streak of 20 losing seasons and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
Cabrera finished with 385 points, while Trout got five first-place votes and 282 points. The difference was 81 points last season, when Trout was AL Rookie of the Year.
Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who led the majors with 53 homers and 138 RBIs, was third. Davis and Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson each received a first-place vote.
Cabrera took his third AL batting title in a row. He also drew a $1 million bonus for winning a second MVP during his current contract with the Tigers.
No AL player has won three straight MVPs. Albert Pujols was the last repeat NL MVP winner in 2008 and 2009; Barry Bonds took four straight from 2001-04.
Voting for the BBWAA awards was done before the playoffs.
McCutchen, third in MVP balloting last season, got 409 points. Goldschmidt finished second with 242, while Molina received the other two first-place votes and came in third.
McCutchen’s win came two days after Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was picked as the NL Manager of the Year. McCutchen was the first Pittsburgh player to win the MVP since Bonds in 1992.
The Pirates went 94-68 this year, a season after going 79-83. Along the way, McCutchen became the face of the franchise and heard loud “MVP!” chants when he would step to the plate at PNC Park this summer.
“I’d lie to you if I said it didn’t enter my mind ever,” he said. “It’s awesome to hear something like that.”
Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati in the NL wild-card game, then lost to St. Louis in a division series that went the full five games.
Boston wound up beating St. Louis in the World Series. No one on the Red Sox or Cardinals won any of the major BBWAA awards.