For the seventh time in as many seasons, Mike Trout has won the Angels’ annual MVP award.
Mike Trout has had quite the season. If not for injuries and time on the bereavement list following the death of his brother in-law, Trout may still be on pace for the best season of all-time (according to Win Above Replacement).
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Off the field, he was criticized heavily over the All Star break for his lack of activity in commercials, on social media, and overall lack of endorsement off the field. As the Angels fell in the standings, the “Trade Mike Trout” trolls came creeping back up. Now, rumors are surfacing of the Angels’ plans to extend the game’s best player to a lifetime deal.
And while all this went on, Mike Trout was, to put it simply, the best to ever do it.
If not for missing 20 games, Trout would very likely be on his way to his third American League MVP award. He still might pull it off, especially with his hot start to September where he is slashing .417/.553/.639.
This will not be the only award Trout wins, however. He will certainly receive votes for AL MVP, and if he continues this hot month then he might be able to win in the wide open field. Mookie Betts and J.D Martinez of the Boston Red Sox might split votes, and they represent Trout’s biggest competition. However Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Matt Chapman, and Francisco Lindor all make strong cases as well. While Trout is the best player of the crop, his incomplete season and lack of contention will once again hurt his stock.
Trout’s most improved part of his game this year was his defense. He worked hard over the offseason do improve his routes on fly balls and his arm strength has gotten better each year. It has resulted in a season where he has yet to make an error, and has five outfield assists, and may just end up with his first Gold Glove Award.
For the team MVP Award, Trout didn’t have much competition. If Shohei Ohtani played the entire year he might have had a case. Andrelton Simmons, who shared the award with Trout in 2017, had a case as well, but Trout was undeniably the MVP this year.