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Trout’s 2nd MVP win puts him in unprecedented territory and on upward trajectory

Let’s not forget, he’s only 25 years of age.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Last night, the BBWAA unexpectedly bestowed upon Mike Trout the greatest individual honor any player can receive. Mike Trout himself was shocked, appearing briefly on MLB Network to accept the award, as he was far too familiar with the BBWAA’s multiple miscues. But not this time. The writers finally got it right, making Trout the MVP over Betts by 45 points.

But this wasn’t a pity vote for all the times the BBWAA has wronged Trout. No, it’s because he was far and away better than Betts in every significant category: WAR, OPS+, OPS, wRC+, RE24, and WPA. Not to mention that despite the Angels not winning, Trout altered pennant and wild card races by ultimately preventing the division-rival Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners from reaching the playoffs.

Trout’s impact also showed up every single time the Angels faced other playoff-hopeful teams like the Blue Jays, Royals, Tigers, Orioles, Red Sox, and Yankees. The narrative that Trout is not playing in “meaningful” games is simply fictitious; in reality, these wins over playoff-hopefuls are made more impressive when one realizes Trout’s contributions to the Angels are a higher proportion than any other player-to-team in baseball.

Despite all this, the antiquity of the BBWAA makes Mike Trout’s win is as remarkable as it is unprecedented. With his 2 MVP’s and 3 runner-up performances he joins Barry Bonds as the only players in MLB history to finish top 2 in MVP voting for 5 straight seasons (and the first one to do it without using performance-enhancing drugs). He also joins Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, Stan Musial, and Jimmie Foxx as the 5th position player to win 2 MVP’s by age-25.

But come on, it doesn’t take an award to realize that Mike Trout is a special player.

Let’s face it: MVP or no MVP, Trout is already widely accepted as the best baseball player in generations. Another MVP couldn’t change that. It instead serves to substantiate what Angels fans - and baseball fans - have been saying all along. And it only makes sense that professional baseball writers reward him for the player he is and not chastise him for the teammates he doesn’t have.

Take a moment to put this into perspective, Angels fans. Each and every one of you has a front-row seat to watch - potentially - one of the greatest players that has ever played the game. Trout is a rare player that has all five tools: he can hit for contact, hit for power, run the bases, throw, and field. He truly respects the game and never shows frustration or blames teammates for their performance. And in an information era of smartphones and viral videos, Trout has done nothing but be a model citizen and continues to inspire moments like this, this, and this.

We have a bird’s eye view of a truly special, spectacular, humble, grounded player who is dedicated to honing his craft on the field, has a good head on his shoulders, and loves his family.

And that’s pretty cool.