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Angels Trout still deserves MVP despite dismal season

rwhitehead
September 20, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is presented the Angels MVP award by team owner Arte Moreno before playing against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A.Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
September 20, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is presented the Angels MVP award by team owner Arte Moreno before playing against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A.Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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There is no doubt that no matter who is playing around him, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is still the one of the best, perhaps not the best, in the league. As this season comes to an end, Trout is once again in the MVP discussion.

The Los Angeles Angels have had three players win the American League MVP.  Mike Trout is the most recent recipient of this prestigious award, proceeded by Vladimir Guerrero in 2004 and Don Baylor back in 1979.

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There has been recent discussion that Trout will be robbed of his MVP title due to the poor season the Angels had this year. However, no decision has been made yet, so there’s still the possibility.

Why does Trout deserve it, despite the team record?   Simply put it he’s a bright light in a dark room. While the rest of the team goes through their struggles, Trout continues towards his path of greatness.

This may be Trout’s finest season yet as he is putting major numbers across the board offensively and continues to get even better defensively.  Trout fell one homer short of 30 finishing with 29 dingers.  He drove in 100 runs for the second time in his career and he also scored over 100 runs finishing with 123 runs scored.

In addition Trout broke the 30 stolen base plateau for the third time in his career and had a batting average of .315. Where Trout really excelled was his plate discipline as he walked a career high 116 times and struck out 137 times which is way down from the previous two seasons when he struck out 184 and 158 times.  Not to mention he had a career best on-base percentage of .441 and OPS of .991.

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Another stat that has become increasingly popular in judging a players worth is WAR which stands for wins above replace which Trout earned a whopping 10.6 rating.  Meaning if someone other than Mike Trout was playing in centerfield the Angels would have 10.6 less wins. This would have meant the Angels would have been teetering on 100 losses for the season which would have been a franchise record for futility.

The next highest in the WAR category is Boston’s Mookie Betts who had a 9.6 WAR and then it falls down to 7.7 WAR for Kris Bryant. Josh Donaldson and Jose Altuve who are two of the favorites to win the AL MVP along with Betts have a 7.4 and 7.7 WAR respectively.

Trout led the league in walks, runs scored, OBP, and was second in OPS.  His batting average was 5th best in the AL and he finished in a three-way tie for second in the AL for stolen bases.

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The other candidates, such as Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson or Boston Red Rox outfielder Mookie Bettis most likely will get higher votes since both their teams are playoff bound.  The question is are they more valuable to their team than Trout was to the Angels. The simple answer is an emphatic NO!.

Trout’s situation at this point should not be a reason why many MLB writers and analysts have overlooked him this season. Sure the Angels are poised to finish last in the AL West, with one of the worst-records in baseball, but still Trout is still Trout and he continues to put up amazing numbers each season.

The question I pose to all you baseball writers who cast a vote for the MVP awards, where in the criteria does it say the MVP award must go to a player on a playoff bound team. It doesn’t.  Most Valuable Player goes simply, to the player whose performance was most valuable to his team. 10.6 Wins Above Replacement for Mike Nelson Trout with the next player being 9.6 and then 7.7. That’s a pretty big gap. SO think about it baseball writers, before you cast your vote.

Fact is, Trout will always be a front runner for the AL MVP every season, no matter how bad his team may play. However for this writer my vote for 2016 AL MVP would be for Ol’ #27  Mike Trout, he has earned it.

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