That is, if the voters don't get in the way.
Trout has played at an insanely high level this season, both
offensively and defensively, and he didn't even start the year on Los Angeles' 25-man roster. Trout made his 2012 debut on April 28, missing the team's first
Looking at Trout's statistics for the year, though, no one could guess that he missed nearly a month's time.
Through 123 games in the big leagues this year, Trout is
hitting .331 with 27 home runs, 77 RBIs, 116 runs scored and 45 stolen bases. That
came after he torched Triple-A pitching in early April, hitting .403 with 10
extra-base hits and 21 runs over a 20-game span.
He leads the American League in batting average,
runs and steals going into Sunday — over some bigger names such as Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton
and Miguel Cabrera.
Trout is the clear-cut choice for AL Rookie of the Year. He
has virtually no competition in the category.
The issue that voters will have with Trout is that he's a
rookie, and his team is unlikely to make it to the postseason.
Only Suzuki and Fred
Lynn have won both the MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. And
those two aren't just the most recent — they're the only two in the history of
the game. Is it that other first-year players haven't had better seasons than
other players in the league, or that voters just don't vote for them?
Another unruly bias is toward players who have outstanding
seasons, but their team falls short of a playoff berth. Since 2005, only two of
the 14 MVP recipients weren't on a postseason roster — Albert Pujols in 2008 and Ryan
Howard in 2006.
The Angels are 7 1/2 games back of the Rangers in the AL
West and 2 1/2 games out of a wild card spot with just 16 games left to play.
Could the Angels still make the playoffs? Sure — a wild card
isn't out of the question just yet. Would a postseason berth secure Trout
for the MVP? Probably, but that shouldn’t matter.
No player in the AL has performed like Trout has in 2012,
and he deserves be rewarded for it.