Writers speak out on why they did not vote for Mike Trout

Updated: November 18, 2016

Mike Trout received 19 of 30 first-place votes for the American League MVP. Most of the writers did vote for Trout, but some went into a different direction with their thoughts. Here is a look at some of the explanations from other writers, who did not vote for the MVP.

Dan Connolly, BaltimoreBaseball.com. Voted for Mookie Betts, had Trout second. “As great as he was, there’s more pressure on a guy on a contending team. It’s not Trout’s fault, but there’s more to it. There’s more pressure to perform on a nightly basis in a pennant race and that does mean something in most valuable.

If it were best player I would have voted for trout… I have no problem with Trout winning, but we’re not computers. We’re putting our own thoughts into it, so I went with Betts. I thought it was fairly close. Performing in a pennant race for months is what gives him the edge.”

Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News. Voted David Ortiz first, Trout second: “Mike Trout, the consensus best player in baseball, was also on my radar, though I have trouble giving my first-place vote when he didn’t play a meaningful game after May 1.”

However most of the writers understood the amount of history Trout broke in the 2016 season and voted for him. Here’s why they voted for him.

Larry Stone, Seattle Times. Voted for Trout. “I agonized over this choice for a long time, vacillating between Trout and Betts, but ultimately I decided that Trout had the better year, pretty clearly. My thinking has evolved on this. In past years, I might have voted for Betts because his team was in contention, but I’ve come to the understanding that a player like Trout shouldn’t be penalized because the other guy had better teammates.”

Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle. Voted for Trout. “When all things are equal or close to, I usually go with guy who got teams to playoffs. I didn’t think it was close enough between Betts and Trout to go with Betts…..Trout was just that little much better. And I see the guy 19 times a year and during the spring, and have throughout his career, so I have a pretty great view most of the year of how tremendous a player he is. Last year, I actually thought (Josh) Donaldson had the best overall year and would have taken him no matter what.”

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN. Voted for Trout: “Mike Trout was the best player in the American League this year. He led the major leagues in runs, walks, on-base percentage and WAR. He piled up those numbers without much protection in front of him or behind him in the lineup. He meant more to his team, he was more valuable to his team, than anyone in the league.”

Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News. Voted for Trout: “In the final week of the season, I probably constructed a ballot every day and my first-place vote went back and forth between Betts and Trout. I felt like Betts had a great offensive year and was slightly better defensively than Mike; they were a coin flip on defense.

But the more I looked at the offensive numbers, particularly OPS and wOBA, Trout stood out at a different level. Also, I factor in fWAR and there was a clear line of delineation between Trout and everybody else. I just felt that Trout’s offensive advantage was significantly greater than Betts’ defensive advantage.

For me, this was a real break with my traditional thought – that in a close race I tended to go with the guy from the team that won. But over the years, I’ve tried to challenge myself to think differently, to consider that maybe my ‘traditional’ thoughts can evolve. So, I broke from my traditional thinking.”

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