Mike Trout spent a little time with the media this morning in his first press conference at Spring Training. He talked about the surprise of winning his second MVP award, his off season workouts, meeting new teammates, saying goodbye to Jered Weaver as a teammate, spending the upcoming season with his fiance and their dog Juno, and the desire to make the playoffs.
It’s clear that Trout is beginning to see himself as a veteran presence in the clubhouse. What might be the most comforting part of the press conference is seeing that he’s still nervous talking to the press. Those legs were JITTERY. He’s mortal! 🙂
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 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.