There is without a shadow of a doubt that Michael Nelson Trout is one of the most consistent baseball players in recent years, and has been more valuable for the Anaheim Angels since his first full season in 2012.
So why is he an outsider when it comes to winning the American League’s Most Valuable Player? He only has won once in 2014 — the same year the Angels last qualified for the postseason by winning the Western Division with a record of 98-64.
He even beat out Miguel Cabrera, who was then the 2-time defending winner of the MVP, in which he was flirting with his second consecutive triple crown. Trout did finished twice on three occasions: 2012, 2013, and 2015 respectively, but in 2016, it is quite possible that he may not even get to finish second place, and it really isn’t his fault for that.
Though his WAR [Wins Above Replacement] is stellar at 47.2 and is ranked 21st in the active list, the Angels are, as of September 8, 410-377 — a .521 winning percentage since the start of the 2012 season [Trout’s first full season]; yet, they aren’t performing well enough to punch their ticket to the postseason in other years, and this year’s Angels is even worse.
Heaney going to the TJ, Escobar’s poor defense on the hot corner [17 errors this season, 100 career errors in his 8 seasons], CJ Wilson having serious issues with his throwing arm this year, and the recent scare of a line drive hit on Matt Shoemaker’s head that eventually led him to go under the knife — those are just some of the issues that Trout had to face, which makes him to play much harder than he would have liked. Another thing that Trout had on his mind entering Spring Training this year was to eliminate the month in which he performed poorly:
“Honestly, coming into the year, I wanted to eliminate August. The last couple years, it’s been bad for me. You go through stretches, and you try to limit them.”
How Trout is able to clear his mind is something only he knows. One more factor as to why Trout is the best in baseball but isn’t going to win this year’s MVP is the writers not watching baseball a lot…until September, and now that it is September, the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America is, will, and are paying attention a lot more… but to those who are in playoff contention. Likely choices such as Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays [defending AL MVP], Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, and Jose Altuve of the Astros [batting over .400 on the road] are on the minds of the writers. But wait a minute: last year’s National League’s Most Value Player went to a player who’s team failed to qualified for the playoffs, and that belonged to Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. His numbers were of the following:
.330 batting average, .460 on base percentage, .649 slugging, and 1.109 on-base plus slugging percentage. And not to mention 42 home runs that he had in 2015.
So why did he win the title, even though his team failed to qualified for the postseason? Obviously, he gets more attention than others, and sadly, that is more likely the case with Mike Trout. Even if he keeps up with his performance for the next 22 days that remains, he will continue to be one of the top dogs in the MLB, but won’t expected to capture another MVP trophy.