Trout again AL's most valuable

His mastery of the "little things" makes him even better than you think

Originally Published: August 6, 2013
By Jared Cross | ESPN Insider

Mike TroutHarry How/Getty ImagesMike Trout does so many things that don't even show up in advanced metrics.

Last year, the Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout debate dominated baseball discussions for the month of September. And believe it or not, that debate is about to start gaining steam again.

In 2013, Cabrera is outhitting Trout (.359 to .329), easily outslugging him (.664 to .568) and getting on base considerably more often (.454 to .423). Sabermetrically-inclined readers might also point out that Cabrera has an 8-run lead (107 to 99) in FanGraph's weighted runs created (wRC). While you could make the case that Trout makes up ground with his defense and baserunning, you'd probably get little push back on the idea that Cabrera has been significantly more valuable at the plate.

What these metrics ignore, and where Trout has a big edge, is in what happens when he isn't credited for getting a hit or a walk or for being hit by a pitch -- the things that don't show up in the box score. The little things. Using a method that allows to quantify these little things, we can see that Trout has been more valuable than Cabrera in the field, on the bases and at the plate.