Trout appeared on all 30 MVP ballots. He received 5 1st-place votes, 19 2nd, 3 third, and 1 fourth, fifth and seventh-place votes. Miguel Cabrera, who won the MVP for the second straight year, was first on 23 ballots and second on the other seven.
The person who didn’t think Trout was one of the top-6 most valuable players in the league last season was Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He belongs to the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association.
Trout’s placement wasn’t Ballou’s only unusual ranking.
Ballou voted Chris Davis first, followed by Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia and then Trout.
I really don’t understand how anyone could view Trout’s performance last season that lowly. Trout batted .323 with 27 home runs, 97 RBIs, 109 runs and 33 stolen bases. His batting average was third in the AL, his .432 on-base percentage was second, his .998 OPS was third, his 109 runs were first and his 33 stolen bases ranked him eighth. He also is a good defender in the outfield, plays a premium position, and is one of the best baserunners in the game. Trout’s offensive numbers are already close to Cabrera and Davis, and his defense and baserunning makes him a superior overall player. How could someone not see that and feel like Cano, Beltre or Pedroia were more valuable?
The only explanation for the 7th-place vote for Trout is that he played for a team that went 78-84. If that was Ballou or anyone else’s reason for dropping Trout in the voting, it’s a poor one. Why should Trout, who had the best season of any player in MLB last year, be penalized because Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, and mostly everyone in the Angels’ bullpen severely underachieved? That doesn’t sound like very good logic. Without Trout, maybe the Angels are only a 65-win team. Doesn’t that make him an extremely valuable player?