For the second time in his career Mike Trout has been named the American League MVP by the Baseball Writer’s Association. This was the fifth consecutive year that Trout was either first or second in the voting. Despite Trout’s place on the stats leader-board there was ambiguity about whether or not he would be named MVP because of the Angels poor season. Despite this liability Trout earned the award based on his individual play.
Here’s how the vote tally was finalized.
Trout has led the league in WAR for five straight years. The last player to do that was Babe Ruth. He is the only the fifth position player to win two MVP award by the time he was 25 (Bench, Mantle, Foxx, and Musial are the others).
Watching post-season baseball it’s hard not to get caught off guard by how much Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo resemble one another in a batting helmet. As the picture below shows, the resemblance fades once you see their full face and hair. But Rizzo in the batters box is causing Mike Trout fans to take a second look. Rizzo is two years older than Trout and definitely not his twin.
What more can he do? The question begs to know if it’s possible for a player to get any better than Mike Trout in 2016 and what he must do to gain recognition in Major League Baseball as the most valuable player in the sport. Trout’s legacy is summed up in two sobering facts; he’s the most valuable player over the last 5 years by a long shot and his value has had no impact on the Angels playoff appearances.
Once again, Mike Trout is the best. No qualifications. His fifth year again put him at the top of the WAR leader board bringing in 10.6 wins over the average replacement player. A full game better than the next closest player. No other player has led the league in WAR 5 straight years in a row since Babe Ruth. He led the league in On Base Percentage (.441), Walks (116), Runs Scored (123) and Runs Created (148). He once again found a way to increase his batting average and his on base percentage and decrease his strikeouts for the third year in a row. He is the ONLY player in American league history to hit at least 25 home runs, steal at least 30 bases and have an on-base percentage over .440. Not even Mike Trout had done that before.
Despite this historic level of production, the Angels find themselves outside of the playoffs. A string of season-ending injuries on a team that had no margin for error left Trout’s team in the position for a top 10 draft slot. It’s possible that without Trout, the Angels could have won fewer than 60 games. Because his team wasn’t very good, some baseball writers think his season lacks the proper narrative to recognize Mike Trout as the single most valuable player in the American League. Possibly making this the fourth time Trout was robbed of the award. It seems for Trout to be properly valuable he needed to make better management decisions for the Angels while he was still in high school.
Mike of course made some stunning plays in the field, at the plate and on the base paths. Check out this diving catch to save extra bases
And this leaping catch on this birthday to take away a grand slam.
And this stinging extra base hit that he ran down with almost perfect efficiency.
You must see these two physics defying slides against the Blue Jays to believe they actually happened.
Mike Trout is proving himself to not only be the best player in professional baseball, but perhaps on his way to being the greatest of all time. It’s up the the Angels front office to surround him with teammates worthy of his level of play so that we can eventually see him in the postseason once again.
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, inexplicably some people think that he doesn’t deserve the MVP award because his teammates aren’t very good. But there is precident. Five times in the past a player won the MVP despite playing on a losing team.
Ernie Banks – 1957
Ernie Banks – 1958
Andre Dawson – 1987
Cal Ripken Jr. – 1991
Alex Rodriguez – 2003
Mike Trout made a stronger case for his second MVP with two magic slides against the Blue Jays. The first came as he stole third base and he adeptly reached behind Josh Donaldson’s foot that was blocking the bag. This is not the first time Mike has made a slide like this.
The next was at home plate. Without replay no one would believe he was safe.
Mike Trout’s 25th birthday turned out to be quite a party. First off, following the Dominican tradition, his teammates gave him a special baby powder and egg shower.
Trout is known for hitting a home run on his birthday. This year his bat was no where to be found as he earned the rare distinction of a “golden sombrero”, four strikeouts. But he showed up on the field with a grand-slam stealing catch in center field. You have to see this catch!
The Angels honored the retirement of David Ortiz and Mike Trout took the opportunity to poke a little fun at Big Papi.