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Mike Trout is better than Miguel Cabrera

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 915 times Debate No: 40412
Debate Rounds (5)
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Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is the best all-around ballplayer in the MLB, even better than the media-enhanced legend Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera is a veteran who has been around since 2003. Mike Trout played in 2011, but broke onto the scene in 2012 with a slash line of .326 /.399 /.564 with 30 homers and 83 RBI (Baseball Reference.) He lost MVP honors to Miguel Cabrera, and people argued about that for months after. Who is better- Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout?

Miguel Cabrera can hit any baseball. Fastball, curve ball, inside, outside... you just cant get anything by him. This is said by this unbelievable ball he squared up against Phil Hughes that would be un-hittable by almost any other batter.

Mike Trout is equally as good in the aspect of hitting. Maybe even better. He has power to all fields. His speed makes him able to leg out infield singles and stretch doubles into triples. He may have less power- but he's only going to get better as he gets older.
But hitting and power are only two tools of baseball, and the ONLY two that Miguel Cabrera has. Here are the five tools of baseball: Running, Arm Strength, Hitting for Average, Hitting for Power, and Fielding. Miguel can only hit for power and hit for average. But Mike Trout has ALL FIVE of those tools. He also displays them regularly.

Mike Trout also has a higher WAR in 2013 than Miguel Cabrera (9.2 to 7.2.) Not only that, but Cabrera ranks FOURTH in AL WAR (Cano, Donaldson, Trout.) This is likely because Cabrera can't stay healthy. He faded down the stretch in 2013- sealing Mike Trout's case for best all-around player.




I negate the proposition, "Mike Trout is better than Miguel Cabrera."

Part of what makes a good baseball player is a player who can change the game with one swing of the bat. Of course, this is not the totality of baseball greatness, though it is a sizable part. Home runs are the cardinal way of changing a game with one swing of a bat. Throughout his career, Miguel Cabrera has consistently posted home run numbers that dwarf those of Mike Trout. According to reputable source,, Mike Trout's 162 game average for home runs is 30. Miguel Cabrera, on the other hand, has, throughout his career (which is far more lengthy than that of Mike Trout) posted 36 home runs per season.

Another part of what makes a good baseball player is consistency. I define consistency as "having the physical and mental resilience to stay on the field, as well as having the skill, talent, and implementation of the preceding two attributes to garner regular playing time." These two things can be measured in games played. The higher the number of games played, the more reliable For his career, Miguel Cabrera has played in an average of 151 games per season, including his first season in the major leagues which was not even a complete stint. Trout, on the other hand, has played in an average of 148 games per season in his career. These numbers are less than those of Cabrera, and I was kind enough to give Mike Trout an advantage of not counting his first season, which, like that of Cabrera, was incomplete. I did not give this advantage to Cabrera when calculating his average amount of games played per season, yet he still was able to come out on top in this category. Should I refrain from such unfair advantages, Trout, as opposed to losing to Cabrera in this category by three games, would lose by a whopping 39 games. Therefore, this point is proven.
Debate Round No. 1


"Another part of what makes a good baseball player is consistency."
True, but Mike Trout is more injury consistent than Miguel Cabrera. Mike Trout was called up on April 28, 2012 [1], which was 26 games into the Angels 2012 season. If he was called up earlier, he would've played at least 160 games, thus exceeding Miguel Cabrera's 151 games per season. He would also have a higher GP per season than Miguel Cabrera, crossing out your argument. Mike Trout also played 157 games in 2013 [2] to Miguel Cabrera's 148 games [3]. In the playoffs, his swing was described as "all arms" against the A's and the Red Sox by multiple analysts and reporters. He is also getting groin surgery this off season. Therefore, Mike Trout is actually more consistent than Miguel Cabrera.
"Throughout his career"
I'm talking about right now. Take this: A-Rod DWARFS Miguel Cabrera career, but he is not better. He WAS better, but he isn't better in the present. For example, Bronson Arroyo is better than Cy Young because he isn't deceased and 6 feet under. Mike Trout, if he plays throughout his career, he will outnumber Miguel Cabrera, because he's only going to get better and Miguel Cabrera is starting on the down-age of his career at age 31 and playing a physically demanding position.

I noticed you failed to address my "five star" argument, so I'll do it again. Baseball isn't just about hitting the ball, it is about other aspects such as defense and running. Miguel only has 2 of the five tools, and while supreme at them, still can't accomplish three. Mike Trout is a true five-tool player (so is Yasiel Puig, but that's a separate argument.) That rule doesn't only apply to catchers, you know.

I will now introduce a new point: Mike Trout can be pitched around, but Miguel Cabrera can't. Mike Trout has two weak sluggers, who rarely hit the ball and are forgotten: Pujols, who has a major foot injury, and Hamilton, who cant tell a fastball from a curveball! Therefore, he drew an MLB-leading 110 walks.However, Miguel Cabrera has slugger Prince Fielder and slugging catcher Victor Martinez aiding him. Then he's got Jose Iglesias, who batted .303, aiding him also. In front of him, he's got one of the best table-setters in Torii Hunters setting him up. He drew ninety walks... 20 less than mike trout. A "whopping: 222 less than Mike Trout if their careers was out over a span. Trout's got rookie J.B Schuck. (Or J.B Suck, if you're an Angel Fan.) On a somewhat unrelated argument, Miguel Cabrera has grounded into 28 DP in 2012 and 19 in '13. Trout has grounded into seven DP's in '12 and eight in 13 [2]. Miguel Cabrera can change the game for the better, but for the worse more often than Trout.

Trout is also in very elite company that puts him with the all-time greats... in his first two seasons. Here's a short bullet list of unceasing accomplishments Trout has put together throughout his short career (Thank you,,
-First MLB player to:
"Steal 45 bases, score 125 runs and hit 30 home runs in a single season.
"Hit .320 or above with 30 HRs and 45 SBs in a single season.

-In elite company here:
"Trout has joined Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez as only players to hit .320 or above with 30+ HRs during their 20-year-old seasons.
" At 21, he is the youngest player to steal 40 bases in a season since Ty Cobb in 1907.
"Trout is the first player to hit .320+ with 30 HRs, 125 runs since Albert Pujols in 2005.
"Hit .353 with 18 HRs and 31 stolen bases thru July, joining Rickey Henderson (.352, 16 HR, 47 SB in 1985) as the only two players in Major League history to hit .350 or above with 15+ HR and 30 or more SB before August 1st.

One last thing: It's not just homers that changes the game with a swing; it's triples, also. And Trout has nine of those things in 2013. Miggy? A grand total of... 1 in the last 3 seasons. A triple clears the bases (like a homer) AND puts a runner at third, making the pitcher nervous and less able to move on than a home run. A home run is better, but you have to have the speed to hit triples to be a good ball player. Oh, did I mention Mike Trout hit a cycle this season?



My opponent makes an erroneous argument that Mike Trout is a better player than Miguel Cabrera. He states that Cabrera possesses two of the five scouting tools of baseball, but Trout is the proud owner of all 5. This is false. Cabrera has an arm that is strong enough for his position by a fairly wide margin, whereas Trout has an arm that is mediocre at best. In addition, I will prove that Trout's fielding was actually worse than that of Cabrera. This gives Cabrera the tools of the Throwing Arm, Batting Average, and Power. Trout has these same skillsets, with the partial subtraction of Throwing Arm, and the addition of Baserunning, the latter of which I will prove is a tool that is relatively unimportant.
I will cede the point that Mike Trout has far greater tools in the sectors of baserunning and fielding, though I will continue to affirm the fact that baserunning is the least important tool and fielding can be made up for by good hitting, wherein Cabrera has the advantage. According to reputable source,, stolen bases, the quintessential statistic to measure baserunning, are only not detrimental to the team for whom the baserunner plays for should the player in question steal bases at a 75% success rate or better. Trout steals bases at a measly 13% better than this 75% rate, meaning that the contributions to his team concerning his baserunning are fairly narrow.
As for fielding, Cabrera, according to, cost his team 18 more runs than the average fielder over 1200 innings in 2013 alone. Trout's fielding cost his team, on average across the three positions he played in 2013, a whopping 29.75 runs more than the average fielder would have per 1200 innings. This gives Cabrera the clear advantage in fielding, though I will be merciful to my opponent and not include this in the aforementioned skillsets that he posesses.
Therefore, my opponent's argument concerning the tools that the two players in question posses is nullified.
My opponent further goes on to state, "Mike Trout can be pitched around, but Miguel Cabrera can't." Cabrera walks, according to, 13% of the time. Trout walks at a rate only 2% greater. If Trout's statistics are as diluted by his walk numbers as my opponent claims, can't the same claim be made about Miguel Cabrera, thereby neutralizing the argument? After all, a 2% difference could easily be a fluke.
Therefore, two of my opponent's most strong contentions are eliminated and one of mine still stands, uncontested, and my other contention still stands, contested only by my opponent's nonsense phrase, "Mike Trout is more injury consistent than Miguel Cabrera."
Therefore, I negate.
Debate Round No. 2


You stated a ton of these facts- yet you have no sources for them. Dare I say they may not be true? No, I don't. But they may be unreliable, as many people do not like Mike Trout, plus some sources vary than others.
"Thus giving Miguel Cabrera the edge in defense."
Mike Trout has a 3.3 DEF [1] in 2013, and a 13 DEF in 2012. However, Miguel Cabrera has a terrible -6.9 DEF [2] in 2013, and a mortifying -14.8 DEF in 2012. For comparison, Paul Konerko had a -7.6 in 2013 and a -15.1 in 2012. Cabrera is about the same as Paul Konerko while Trout is the same as Andrew McCutchen (Gold Glove winner, 3.3 in 2013.) Trout's numbers may be down, but worse than Cabrera's? Nope. Trout has also made many more highlight reel plays than Miguel Cabrera, including robbing home runs, which is taking runs off of the scoreboard. Miggy makes the above-average catch once in a while, but I don't think he can make the spectacular plays that Mike Trout has the ability to do.
"Base running is the least important tool."
No, it is not. Arm Strength is. Base running gives you the ability to get an extra base and put you into scoring position, which is very imortant to score runs. It is also important to runs created. You can stretch doubles into triples. Say it's one out. A medium-depth fly out on a double means man on second, two out. But a medium-depth fly ball with a runner means a run.
To back this up, let's take a look at some fangraphs statistics.
Mike Trout: 12.2 BsR over two seasons ('12 and '13.) BsR is base running runs above average (SB and CS)
Miguel Cabrera: -6.6 BsR over two seasons ('12 and '13.) Trout made 18.8 more runs than Cabrera stealing bases ALONE.
Lets take a look at OFF (offense based on hitting and stealing.) There, FANGRAPHS says that baserunning is part of offense.
Mike Trout: 53.2 OFF in 2013, 69.6 in 2012.
Miguel Cabrera: 50.6 OFF in 2013, 63.5 in 2012.
Therefore, Mike Trout seems to be better in both offense and defense. Also, Trout has a higher WAR over two seasons (18.5) than Cabrera (14.7.) That's about FOUR more wins for Mike Trout and the Angels. Therefore, Mike Trout is better than Miguel Cabrera.

*Stats based on
*Stats based on


My opponent seems to be relying heavily on advanced statistical measurements of a player's qualities that are so specific they are borderline meaningless. On top of this, these advanced statistics do not mean more than "the big three," which are, of course, Home Runs, Runs Batted In, and Batting Average, all of which Miguel Cabrera led the league in in 2012, in addition to beating Mike Trout in 2013. Miguel Cabrera is, hands-down, a better batter than Mike Trout. If my opponent has the audacity to argue this point, then he is truly not knowledgable about this topic to be a trustworthy source when judging a debate.

I would like to make another point: Baseball is a spectator sport. It is a sport where the fans and the people who bring the information to the fans decide who is best. And if last year's MVP voting was any indication of what these people, those whose opinions matter, those who purchase tickets that allow teams to sign and retain players such as the two in question, believe makes a good baseball player, then Miguel Cabrera is better. Should my opponent make the argument that last year's MVP voting (which has yet to happen) and this year's are inherently not the same because of the 365 days that separate them, I will simply bring up the following point: Max Scherzer, who is a teammate of Cabrera, won the Cy Young award, beating out Yu Darvish and Hishashi Iwakuma, who possessed an advantage over Scherzer in advanced statistical categories, with the main tool in his arsenal being his Win-Loss Record. The WL Record is among the most outdated stats in sports, yet the aforementioned "people whose opinions matter" still preferred Scherzer. This is proof that advanced statistical analysis does not automatically decide who is a better player. Therefore, my opponent's contentions which rely on Mike Trout's sabermetrical statistics are nullified.
Debate Round No. 3


Stats are actually the biggest key to seeing who is the better player. By "better," I mean who is better at the game. Fans do matter, but it is actually a lesser play in who has the better ability to PLAY baseball. May I point out that the average statistical fan would see that argument as useless, as it is based against stats. From what I have seen (this is observation, not a cold-hard fact,) Mike Trout is beloved in far more places than Miguel Cabrera. Trout smiles more, draws more fans, and pleases more fans with his amazing skills and antics. Miguel Cabrera, however, goes out there and plays some hard, tough baseball and doesn't do much to please the fans besides hit homers. That is usually good, but now, it is used against you to nullify your own argument.
Max Scherzer is irrelevant to this conversation. And if wins are useless, so are RBI. That just makes Trout all the better. Last year's MVP voting was heavily argued against by both sides. If you had read my opening statement, which is somewhat think you ignored, you would know that this argument was sparked by them being head to head in the MVP voting. 30 people think that Miguel Cabrera is better, mostly because of the triple crown. By your logic, since "wins" (influenced by the team's batting!) are useless, so are RBI (influenced ALSO by team's batting!) Therefore, Miguel Cabrera only won the triple crown because his team was amazing at batting. Who knows what Mike Trout would've done if he had the people around him like Miguel Cabrera.

I have also noticed your reliability on career, as seen in your first and second argument. Therefore, you have influenced me to show you why Trout, compared to Miguel Cabrera's career, may be a bit better.
Trout, in his first two seasons, hasn't tried to smack the ball to high heavens like some other players do. He has a fluid, line-drive swing, yet he still managed to have a homer rate of 0.05 through his first two seasons... the same as Cabrera's 0.05 through his two first seasons [1]. I said right now, not career, so I'm going to spare you from these obvious facts and move on to current ones.

Fans: There is not a steady way to measure who has more fans. So for this argument, Baseball is a spectator sport. It is a sport where the fans and the people who bring the information to the fans decide who is best, I use... Twitter to determine who has more fans.
Trout: 376,285 followers (as of WED, Nov. 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM) [2]
Cabrera: 322,995 followers (as of WED, Nov. 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM) [3] These followers are fans and players alike. We are constantly seeing stories about athletes and Twitter related incidents. That is why I turned to this rather unusual site. It may not be as validated as, but it still (at least semi) proves my point.
We also go to [1], where we both seem to garner info from. I turn to a small article by Gregory John Vitale, a pro spots writer "whose opinion matters." On his poll, who is a better player: Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, or someone else? Out of a total of 46 fans, somewhat comparable to the MVP voting (and any other award, for that matter,) 80.4% voted Trout and 19.6% voted Cabrera. No one voted other, which just adds heat to our debate because it is now just between our two players. I did the math, and 37 voted Trout, and nine voted Cabrera. It may be a small sample size, but it does seem that Trout is more liked than Miguel Cabrera.

"These advanced statistics do not mean more than the big three. If my opponent has the audacity to argue this point, then he is truly not knowledgeable about this topic to be a trustworthy source while judging a debate."
I'm sorry, but that is wrong. It is also based on SB%, stolen bases, speed factor, caught stealing, runs created on the basepaths, etc [4]. It is STEMMING from the big three, but is truthfully a little bit deeper than that. If anything, I am more trustworthy than you, because you include no links specifically at the bottom as to which you got your information from. I use sports sites, like ESPN, for my information. I have no way of knowing if you are just typing this debate by your head or by actual credible cites.

When you put every single component together that we have been debating about, it still points to Trout as being the better overall ballplayer. Miguel Cabrera will win the MVP because his team made it to the playoffs, but Trout's didn't. If it was the other way around, can anyone deny that Trout wouldn't win it? Good luck debating that!


*Please note that this site(s) are not sport-related, but rather used to push points across.

Thank you for reading all of that! It would mean a ton to me if you voted Mike Trout as the better player in his lengthy debate!!!!


I am writing this now that Miguel Cabrera has won the MVP award. Surely, you cannot argue with a pannel of acclaimed people who discuss Baseball for a living? By utilizing statistics that fail to capture the intangibles, you have failed to recognize that the Baseball Writer's Association of America have voted for Miguel Cabrera over Mike Trout. There is no further proof needed as to Cabrera's dominance.
Debate Round No. 4


"There is no further proof needed as to Cabrera's dominance."
That is false. MVP means "Most Valuable Player" not "Most Best Player." Miggy was more valuable than Mike Trout because his team made the postseason. Multiple writers on Bleacher Report state that Trout had the superior season. "Trout once again led the league in wins above replacement (WAR) by a healthy amount, while his defense ranked as the 21st-most valuable in the AL [1]."
I have already said everything that proves that Mike Trout is the better player. Please note that I predict my oppenent to use "Valuable is better." That is not completley true.

Therefore, I wrap up the debate.




jontayl_debate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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