Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout had a tremendous sophomore season in 2013, and from a statistical standpoint, he’s the logical choice for the American League MVP award.
The 22-year-old became just the third player since 1900 (Ty Cobb and Lenny Dykstra are the others) to tally 190 hits, 100 walks and 30 steals in a single season.
But the Angels superstar doesn’t expect his phenomenal year to conclude with his first AL MVP.
“I think it’s going to be another thing like last year,” Trout recently told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “I can’t take it away from [Miguel] Cabrera. He won the division and is going to the playoffs, and we’re heading home after the game. That’s a big contribution, being on a winning team.”
Trout’s reasoning is not far-fetched. The last player to win the AL MVP from a team that failed to qualify for the playoffs was Alex Rodriguez in 2003. His Texas Rangers finished fourth in the AL West that season. Since 1990, Rodriguez, Frank Thomas (1994) and Cal Ripken Jr. (1991) are the only players to capture the award without being on a postseason club.
If recent history is any indication, Trout will likely finish as the runner-up for the second consecutive season. However, if the writers vote Trout as MVP, there should be few complaints.
He was the only AL player to finish in the top 10 of batting average, doubles, triples, RBIs, walks, runs, on-base percentage and steals. His WAR (wins above replacement) of 9.2 also led the league.
Even if Trout doesn’t win this year’s MVP, he’s going to be a top candidate for the award many times over the next decade.