Mike Trout is the best baseball player in the world, and I genuinely thought I’d be writing about why he still deserves the American League Most Valuable Player award despite ending the season three weeks early.
However, it pains me to type that Mike Trout might not be most deserving of the AL MVP this season. While you can make a phenomenal case for Trout to win the award, and maybe even make the right case, Alex Bregman has an awfully compelling case as well.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. Mike Trout was the better baseball player than Alex Bregman this year. And no, this article isn’t about how Bregman’s Astros won 106 games while the Angels lost 90 games for the first time since 1999.
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This is purely about how Alex Bregman was more valuable for his team from the first game to the last game.
Without Trout, the Angels very well could have lost 100 games this year and been apart of the Orioles, Tigers, and Royals tier of the American League. He is the most valuable player in the entire sport, even with his record breaking contract.
But this year, Alex Bregman had a season for the ages.
Purely looking at the numbers, Trout had a better wRC+ and a higher total WAR. Usually, that is a combination that indicates a player who deserves the MVP award. However, the narratives surrounding both Trout and Bregman are what lead me to cast my (entirely fake) vote for Bregman this year over Trout.
Trout, despite putting up the best season of his career, missed nearly an entire month of baseball. On top of that, he went through a few noticeable slumps throughout the season. So while he may have put up the best numbers, it was a shaky season at times for Trout.
Bregman, however, was as consistent as anyone at the plate. Also, while Trout finished the season on the Injured List, Alex Bregman finished the season strong with a .369/.479/.749 slashline over the final two months. Finishing strong always matters in MVP voting, and Bregman did exactly what he needed to.
The final push for Bregman in my opinion is the way he carried the Houston Astros’ offense this year. While Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer all missed time with injury, Bregman was able to carry the load. When Correa missed time, Bregman slid over to the more difficult position of shortstop and flourished until his teammate could return. He was leaned on in every possible way by the Astros this year, and consistently performed exceptionally.
So, while Mike Trout is the best player and was best player in 2019, he missed too much time to fend of Alex Bregman, who had what could very well be the best season we ever see from the 25-year old.