This year’s MVP voters did care enough to get it right, or, at least, the definition they chose for “most valuable player” corresponded to my definition. Those voters, though, total 30. There are more than 700 active BBWAA members. In a sample of less than 5 percent of members, by an extremely thin margin, voters chose Mike Trout. It’s hardly a radical realignment of values. Scramble the members up, have them vote again, and it’s quite possible Trout would have finished second or third, again.
This is OK! Trout’s legacy is bolstered by the hardware, but it is not so fragile as to depend on these votes. Honus Wagner’s career almost entirely predated the MVP award, and he never won one. Babe Ruth played in an era when players were allowed to win it only once, and so he won it only once. Willie Mays led National League hitters in WAR 10 times but won only two awards. Are any of these careers underrecognized by history? Do you know anybody who doesn’t know what Babe Ruth represented? Can you find anybody who lived through Willie Mays’ career who would tell you that he was underappreciated even then?
Trout might deserve 15 of these in his career. He might win two, and he might win a dozen. When he wins one, we toast to the greatest player alive. When he loses one, we still toast to the greatest player alive.
“Then secondly, the thing that really surprised me, as a young player his baseball IQ is tremendous. It’s like having court awareness as a point guard. He could play anywhere on the field that he wants to because he has a great understanding of every situation.”
It was no wonder, then, that Betts was a worthy finalist for the American League MVP award, announced Thursday night. Los Angeles Angels Mackensie Alexander Authentic Womens Jersey center fielder Mike Trout, a generational superstar, was once again the game’s best player in 2016 as well as the ultimate winner, but the Red Sox right fielder was inarguably the best player on an AL team that went to the playoffs.
Over his five-year career, he has led the AL in Wins Marcus Sherels Authentic Womens Jersey Above Replacement five times. You go to a different site than I do for your Wins Above Replacement? No problem: He leads the AL in all five years regardless of whether you’re looking at Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus. His cumulative WAR, on Baseball-Reference, is nearly two full Mike Trout seasons better than the next best major leaguer in that time period, Robinson Cano. His cumulative WAR in those five years is greater than Manny Machado and Anthony Rizzo combined.