Mike Trout has finally been given the hardware for being the best player in the American League. The 23-year-old showed all around achievements to edge the Detroit Tigers‘ designated hitter Victor Martinez and the Toronto Blue Jays‘ outfielder Jose Bautista. Trout was unanimously awarded the American League MVP on Thursday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America after slugging a personal-best 36 homers and leading his Los Angeles Angels to their first division title in five years.
“It feels great,” Trout said on MLB Network after the announcement. “Everybody’s out back. They were all cheering, I have the family here. It’s something special.”
Trout’s historic first two years in the league intensified the debate between traditionalists and the sabermetric community over who should win the MVP award: him or Miguel Cabrera. This season, Trout did his damage the old fashioned way. This year, he received all 30 first-place votes after finishing runner-up to Cabrera the past two seasons.
The Angels center fielder ranked third in the AL in homers, drove in an AL-leading 111 runs and posted the majors’ third-highest slugging percentage, helping secure his club its first playoff appearance since 2009. He really did do it all this year both traditionally and saber-metrically.
The New Jersey native hit .287 with 36 long balls this season along with 111 RBI’s. Over his three-year career, the youngster has hit .305, adding 98 home runs and 307 RBI’s. He also stole 16 bases, which is down based on his career 102 stolen bases. Trout has a remarkable achievement for someone who began the season as the fourth-youngest player in the AL.
2014 League Ranks:
• 3rd in AL in HR (36)
• 1st in AL in RBI (111)
• 1st in AL in R (115)
• 4th in AL in BB (83)
• 3rd in AL in SLG (.561)
• 3rd in AL in OPS (.939)
He played 152 games at center field and eight games as a designated hitter. He had a $1,000,000 salary for the 2014 season.
Trout on being named AL MVP, “If you would have told me this before the season started, I would have just laughed at you.”