No MVP, no Gold Glove for Mike Trout … MLB awards are a joke

Just when you thought everyone associated with the baseball was getting smarter, an awards voting comes along and proves we’re still really dumb.

Angels center fielder Mike Trout was shut out in the awards voting this month. He finished second in AL MVP, and he did not win a Gold Glove. Oh yeah, he did win AL Rookie of the Year. Whoopie. Excuse me if I’m not so excited about the best player in the game winning an award that was also given to the likes of Angel Berroa and Bobby Crosby.

Trout put together the best season by a position player since Barry Bonds, per Baseball Reference’s WAR metric. Trout finished with a 10.7 WAR, which actually topped Bonds’ WAR for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and only was shy of Bonds’ WAR for 2002 and 2001, the years he batted .370 and hit 73 home runs respectively.

WAR measures “Wins Above Replacement,” aka how many more wins the player contributed to the team than the average replacement player. Since it takes into account defensive, base running, and offensive statistics, the way it is calculated is subjective and slightly different depending on the outlet.

Fangraphs, which has a more reliable WAR calculation, measured Trout at 10 WAR. The next highest player was Buster Posey with 8, and he won NL MVP. Miguel Cabrera, who won AL MVP, was eighth in their calculations with 7.1, behind even Robinson Cano in the AL.

A few tweaks to the formulas can result in a slightly different order for the top players’ WAR, but what is not disputable is that no matter the outlet, Trout was anywhere from 25-50% more valuable than the other best players in baseball.

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Mike Trout hazed by Angels again, this time dresses as a giant baby (Picture)

The Angels really seem to enjoy screwing with Mike Trout. The 21-year-old is arguably the best player on the team, but a rookie is a rookie. Trout played only 40 games at the MLB level last season, and apparently he didn’t fully pay his hazing dues when the team made him dress in this ridiculous outfit and parade around. As you can see from the photo above that Torii Hunter shared on Twitter, Trout was given the giant baby treatment this season.

If the Angels miss the playoffs, Trout will be looking for to next season for more reasons than one.

Justin Verlander makes a very strong push for Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

In years past, the MVP race has had a tendency to become clearer as the season draws to a close. That has not been the case in the American League this season. Although Jim Leyland would have told you otherwise, Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout looked like the clear-cut favorite for AL MVP back at the beginning of August. Miguel Cabrera was a close second, but over the past month it has turned into 1A and 1B.

With Cabrera closing in on the Triple Crown, Last year’s AL MVP Justin Verlander feels that it would be ridiculous to give the award to anyone other than his teammate.

“Bull (expletive),” Verlander said on Wednesday when informed that some analysts say they would pick Trout even if Miggy wins the Triple Crown. “That’s ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, ’67? OK.

“That would be a joke in my opinion. Come on. Even the fact he’s one home run away (from a Triple Crown) is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP. Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference.”

Cabrera leads the AL with a .333 batting average and 130 RBI. He is in second by one homer behind Josh Hamilton with 41. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, so it is clearly one of the rarest feats in all of professional sports. If Trout were to win the award, it would be the result of voters keeping amazing defensive plays like this one and this one in mind in addition to his impressive batting stats.

As impressive as Trout has been, I tend to agree with Verlander that a player who wins the Triple Crown would have to be the league MVP. At the same time, the fact that someone is in line for the Triple Crown and hasn’t run away with the award is a reminder of just how phenomenal Trout has been.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Trout has reached Barry Bonds status

Mike Trout’s historic rookie season for the Angels has been noticed by fans, media, and everyone in baseball, and now we can quantify just how truly incredible he’s been.

As Hardball Talk points out to us, Trout has become the first player in baseball to post a 10 WAR since Barry Bonds in 2004.

WAR is a newer statistical metric that measures “Wins Above Replacement,” or how many more wins a player has contributed to a team than a bench player or minor-league replacement would be expected to contribute. Based on the way Baseball-Reference calculates WAR (different sites use different formulas), Trout has contributed 10 wins above what a replacement player would be expected to contribute. That is an astonishing number, especially for a guy who didn’t play his first Major League game until April 28.

According to Baseball-Reference, there have only been 9 10-WAR seasons in the last 20 years — five by batters and four by pitchers. Three of them were achieved by Barry Bonds:

    – Barry Bonds 2004 10.3
    - Barry Bonds 2002 11.6
    - Barry Bonds 2001 11.6
    - Sammy Sosa 2001 10.1
    - Alex Rodriguez 2000 10.1

    - Roger Clemens 1997 11.8
    - Pedro Martinez 2000 11.4
    - Randy Johnson 2002 10.2
    - Zack Greinke 2009 10.1

Trout already has 10 WAR and still has 22 games left to play. He could easily get above 11 WAR, which would put him on par with Barry Bonds.

Between the MVP-level batting, baserunning, and defense he’s shown, Trout is easily the best all-around player in the game this year. I don’t think Jim Leyland has much of a complaint anymore.

Mike Trout starts Angels’ win with home run, ends game by robbing one (Videos)

Mike Trout book-ended the Angels’ 6-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday with two incredible plays that encapsulate his phenomenal all-around talent. The Angels rookie led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run off reigning AL Cy Young Award and MVP winner Justin Verlander, and he recorded the final out by robbing Prince Fielder of a home run in center field.

First, let’s watch Trout homer in his first career at-bat against Justin Verlander on a 1-1 pitch:

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Jim Leyland: Miguel Cabrera deserves MVP over ‘Wonderboy’ Mike Trout

Miguel Cabrera is having an outstanding season for the Tigers. It’s the type of season we have come to expect from the 29-year-old over his 13-year career. Cabrera has 29 homers to go along with 95 RBI. His batting average is an impressive .322 and his on-base percentage is a solid .384. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but Cabrera is a definite American League MVP contender. The only problem is a 21-year-old named Mike Trout could stand in his way.

As his manager, Jim Leyland is obviously pulling for Cabrera to win the award. However, the logic he used to support his third baseman during an interview with WXYT 97.1 Radio in Detroit on Thursday was puzzling.

“I mean this respectfully,” Leyland said according to ESPN.com. “I don’t mean this disrespectfully — I think what could be a little problem for Miggy is in my opinion Miggy is the MVP. Now we have time left, if the voting was today Miggy is the MVP. However, he could run into one of the wonder boy stories. You know, young kid, 20 years old. Everyone gets excited about that. Everybody loves that, has a nice ring to it.”

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Mike Trout robs home run from Gordon Beckham with awesome catch (Video)

Mike Trout is making a habit of delivering amazing catches for the Angels. The 20-year-old center fielder robbed White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham of a home run in the second inning of Saturday’s game. The catch wasn’t quite as spectacular as his one to rob J.J. Hardy in Baltimore in June, but he still went way over the wall to bring one back and save a run, which was critical since the Angels won 6-5 in 10 innings.

As if leading MLB in runs and batting average weren’t enough, Trout is up there for best catches as well. This guy is phenomenal.

Here’s a look at his catch against the Orioles in June for comparison:

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