Mike Trout: Unanimous Rookie of the Year First of Many Awards for Young Star
If his first season was any indication of the star he's destined to become, it's not the only trophy that will be adorning his mantle over the rest of his career.
Trout burst on the scene in late April, when he took the American League by storm by being a spark plug for the struggling Los Angeles Angels. He's credited with turning the fortunes around for a team with guys like Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver on the roster, and he was about as consistent as they come for most of the year.
There was little doubt that he would win this award, the first of the major ones to come down from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Here's a breakdown of the voting, from the association's official site.
|Mike Trout, Angels||28||140|
|Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics||19||6||63|
|Yu Darvish, Rangers||9||19||46|
|Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles||2||2|
|Jarrod Parker, Athletics||1||1|
Trout hit .326 with 30 home runs and 83 RBIs in his first full professional season. He added a league-high in stolen bases (49) and runs (129) despite spending most of the first month of the season in the minor leagues.
Batting leadoff for one of baseball's most dangerous lineups, Trout was a nightly fixture on highlights from that night's action. Almost every time he made a play it was in a position to help his team win a ballgame.
His WAR of 10.7 was far and away the best number in baseball. Robinson Cano was the next closest at 8.2, and Miguel Cabrera, who is expected to be the other finalist in the race for the MVP, finished at 6.9.
His defense was also impeccable. Trout made big plays at the wall to rob home runs, in the gap to cut off any potential extra base hits and with his arm cutting down runners. He's a complete, five-tool player and deserved this award.
There's almost no other award that he's qualified for that he shouldn't win. A Silver Slugger will be a certainty if he has another season like this one. The gold glove will come, too, especially if the first season was any indication of how high this kid can jump.
And on Thursday, he'll have a chance to compete for the MVP award. National baseball writer Jon Morosi wonders when the last time in the sport that a final race for the MVP had so much intrigue.
Mike Trout tells @mlbnetwork, "It's going to be fun to watch Thursday." When was the last time an MVP award inspired so much anticipation?— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 12, 2012
We'll find out on Thursday if the sheer eye test of his season was enough to unseat Cabrera, who had a remarkable season of his own. Which trumps the other, a Triple Crown and a trip to the World Series, or the sport's most exciting young talent in recent memory?
If it's the latter, we're in for a long and storied career out of the young man who just turned 21 years old. As he dusts off the shelf for his new AL ROY, he'll make sure to save a place for the rest of his impending awards.
It's going to be a long time before he'll be able to stop collecting hardware.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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