Can Mike Trout Break the All-Time MVP Record?
As we all know, Mike Trout won his third Most Valuable Player Award last week. Does the game’s best player have a chance to set the MVP record in his career?
As we sit now, Mike Trout is tied for second all-time with his trio of awards. Him and ten other MLB legends are in a group of their own, and they all trail one man.
Barry Bonds is an outlier in terms of career MVP awards. Trout, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Albert Pujols are all some of the players with three career awards. Bonds has seven. He is as dominant in this category as he was in this early 2000’s.
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And Trout has as good of a chance as anyone to catch him, and possibly even surpass him.
Trout has played eight full seasons in the MLB and has three MVP’s. He has 11 years left on his contract. Basic math tells us that if he stays on this pace, he’ll win 4 more in the next 11 years, putting his career total at 7.
But looking further into this, the years Mike Trout didn’t win MVP are just as telling as the years he did. Per FanGraphs, Trout’s three best years (in terms of WAR) came in 2012, 2013, and 2018. In all three of those seasons, Trout was robbed of MVP.
The first two were lost to Miguel Cabrera, as advanced stats showing Trout’s dominance hadn’t gone mainstream yet. The more recent was to Mookie Betts, who played on a winning team and thus won the award (though he was a deserving candidate).
Trout winning four more MVP’s in his career wouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s entering his prime and if not for an injury in 2017, he’d already have his fourth. While the third MVP season cemented his Hall of Fame case, Trout’s fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and possibly eighth MVP’s will only build upon his legacy as the greatest player in the history of baseball.
It’s wild enough to say that this is possible for Trout. If he can turn in healthy seasons during his prime years, he could go on a Bonds-like stretch and rattle off three or four straight MVP awards. No other player is near his level on talent and skill, the only thing that could stop Trout is his own body betraying him.
Mike Trout is already the best in the game. However, winning a few more MVP awards could make him the undisputed best player in the history of the MLB.