For the third time in his career, Mike Trout has been named Most Valuable Player of the American League. However, this MVP is not only his most impressive, but the most important of his career thus far.
Before yesterday, there were more than a handful of players who had won more MVP awards than Mike Trout. Waking up this morning, only one player in the history of Major League Baseball has more MVP awards than Trout.
Barry Bonds won seven in his career. No matter how you feel about the person, Bonds had arguably the best statistical career ever, and that is shown by his (assuredly large) trophy case.
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Now, following his third MVP award, Mike a Trout is, without a doubt, a living Hall of Fame player.
Before this season, Trout’s career was that on a Hall of Fame trajectory. If he had spontaneously retired following the 2018 year, the argument could be made his career was too short and merely a blip on the radar of MLB history. Now, however, it is impossible not to include Trout in the group of active Hall of Famers.
Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw are all obvious names that will one day be in the Hall despite still grinding away in the MLB. They’re all, for lack of a better word, old. Mike Trout is just now entering the prime of his career. He is tied for second all-time in MVP’s, and is arguably the best player this game has ever seen.
Now, his trophy case proves that. While we can debate whether Trout has a shot to one day break Barry Bonds’ MVP record of seven awards, right now we are focusing on the sheer magnitude of Trout’s trio of MVP seasons.
10 other players won three MVP awards in their careers. Two of them (Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez) aren’t yet eligible. Barry Bonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame but is being held out by voters. The other seven are all residents in Cooperstown.
And for Trout, he’ll one day join them. He could opt out of the 11-years and $390.5 million left on his contracts tomorrow and that statement would still be true. However, Mike Trout has more than a decade to build on his MVP case.
And by the end of it all, he won’t just be a surefire Hall of Famer. Mike Trout will be the best player to ever played baseball.