The players believe Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was the major leagues' best this year. Whether the writers agree and award him the top prize won't be known for another 10 days.
Cabrera was selected the Player of the Year by his peers in the Players Choice Awards, which were announced Monday. After achieving baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967, Cabrera topped Los Angeles Angels rookie center fielder Mike Trout and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen for the honor.
The Tigers slugger also the Players Choice Award as the AL's Outstanding Player.
"I don't know if they made the right choice," Cabrera said, according to MLB.com. "I was lucky, very lucky, but thank you."
The winner of the AL Most Valuable Player award, voted on by longtime members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, will be announced Nov. 15. Cabrera and Trout are the top two candidates, with many viewing the decision as a battle between old-school thinkers who favor Cabrera vs. sabermetrically inclined observers who favor Trout.
Cabrera, 29, led the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 homers and 139 RBI. He also finished first with a .606 slugging percentage and fourth with a .393 on-base percentage.
Trout, 21, led the AL with 129 runs and with 49 stolen bases, and his .326 average ranked second in the league. He came in third in slugging percentage at .564 and in on-base percentage at .399. Trout received the Players Choice award as the AL's Outstanding Rookie.
McCutchen, 26, won the Players Choice honor as the NL's Outstanding Player. He led the league with 194 hits while batting .327 with a .400 on-base percentage, a .553 slugging percentage, 31 homers, 96 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
The other Players Choice award winners were: NL Outstanding Rookie, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier; AL Outstanding Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price; NL Outstanding Pitcher, New York Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey; AL Comeback Player of the Year, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn; and NL Comeback Player of the Year, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
The players also gave the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, recognizing character and off-the-field efforts, to retiring Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.