LA Angels Top Moments of the Decade #5: Mike Trout Wins First MVP

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with the fans after the Angels clinched the American League West Division at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 17, 2014 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Mariners 5-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with the fans after the Angels clinched the American League West Division at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 17, 2014 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Mariners 5-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /
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After battling, and eventually losing, to the Miguel Cabrera in MVP races during his first two seasons, Mike Trout eventually captured the historic milestone in 2014, winning his first MVP.

The debates LA Angels fans and Tigers fans had during those two years were one of the best moments of the decade on their own, but come nowhere close to topping the moment Mike Trout won his first American League Most Valuable Player award.

While Halo fans really have no real victory in Trout winning an MVP, this was a big moment for the fanbase, along with supporters of Wins Above Replacement. Throughout Trout’s career, he has been linked to WAR. During the Trout vs. Miggy debates, that was the key stat Trout supporters used when proclaiming he should have won the award despite Cabrera’s Triple Crown.

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After years of denial, Trout’s first MVP award meant he finally got the credit he deserved as the best player in baseball. His 2014 season, in terms of WAR (because of course), has been his worst full season of baseball at just 7.4 WAR. The only time he has had a lower total WAR in a season was in 2014 when Trout only played 114 games.

The 2014 MVP award also proved one theory for Angels fans. In Trout’s first two losses, the Angels missed the playoffs while the Tigers went to the playoffs in both seasons. Apart from the WAR vs. classic stats debate, the argument over whether or not team success should matter towards MVP voting raged on in those years as well. In 2014, Trout led the Angels to the best record in baseball.

This was also the first AL MVP award of the millennium that was unanimous, only adding to how great of a moment it was for Mike Trout and Angels fans. As well all know now, this was only the beginning of Trout’s reign, as he just won his third MVP award this year (for more on that, click here).

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In 2014, Mike Trout won his first Most Valuable Player award, creating a shift in how we value players. While it wasn’t his best season, this award was long overdue for Mike Trout, the LA Angels, their fans, and WAR-junkies alike.