DETROIT -- At this point, facing a 2-0 deficit heading into Game 3 of the World Series at Comerica Park on Saturday night, the Tigers aren't too concerned about individual awards. But they are starting to come in anyway.
The Sporting News announced third baseman Miguel Cabrera as its Player of the Year on Friday, making him the second straight Tiger to win the honor after Justin Verlander won it for his MVP season in 2011. They are the first to be named back-to-back winners since then-Mariners Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. won in 1996 and 1997.
The award is voted on by a panel of 203 players. Cabrera received 108 votes while 71 went to Angels rookie Mike Trout -- recently named Baseball America's Player of the Year -- and five went to Adrian Beltre. Ten others received four votes or less.
Cabrera led the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44), and RBIs (139) on his way to becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
"He's the best hitter I've ever seen other than [Ted] Williams," Hall of Famer Al Kaline said in a statement released by the Tigers. "He's just amazing."
It's worth noting that The Sporting News' Player of the Year has also gone on to win their league's Most Valuable Player Award in every season since 2004.
Cabrera was also named the unanimous winner of the Luis Aparicio Award for the second straight year, which goes to the league's top Venezuelan player and is voted on by Spanish-speaking writers. He's the first person to win it three times.