Mike Trout wins AL MVP for third time in storied MLB career

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor

It's Mike Trout's world. We're just living in it.

The Los Angeles Angels outfielder was named American League MVP for the third time in his career on Thursday after a vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Cody Bellinger won the National League MVP, beating out Christian Yelich.

Trout received 17 of 30 first-place votes, while Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman received the other 13 first-place votes. Trout and Bregman also received all of the second-place votes. Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien finished third.

Here are the full standings, via the BBWAA. You can find individual ballots on their site.

(BBWAA)

Trout held on to win the award despite missing the final three weeks with a foot injury. Before the injury, he had already established a career-high in homers with 45 and his .645 slugging percentage was also the best of his career. At the time, both numbers led the AL, as did his walks (110), on-base percentage (.438) and OPS+ (184).

It’s the fifth time an Angels player has won the MVP award. In addition to Trout’s previous awards in 2014 and 2016, Don Baylor (1979) and Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero (2004) won the award. Trout has finished no worse than fourth in the voting in each of his first eight full MLB seasons. That includes four second-place finishes.

Many believe Trout deserves to be a five or six-time winner at this point based on the sheer numbers. The Angels’ lack of success has seemingly outweighed his production in the eyes of some voters. That wasn’t the case this season despite Los Angeles finishing with a disappointing 72 wins.

In fact, this season it was shaping up to be a one-man race until Bregman hit his stride in August. The Astros third baseman posted a .372/.486/.750 batting line over the final 51 games. During that time Bregman also hit 15 homers and drove in 49 runs to go with a 37-20 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Most notably, the Astros won 37 of those games.

In another season, Marcus Semien may have had a stronger case as well. He was arguably the most improved all-around player in MLB this season. Semien played in all 162 games and contributed to the A’s wild-card season with solid across-the-board offensive numbers and improved defense. His ceiling was just topped by Bregman and Trout.

Now Trout can put his name in the very select group of individuals to have won three MVPs. Barry Bonds leads the way with seven. Nine other players, including Trout’s Angels’ teammate Albert Pujols, have won three times.

Still just 28 years old, Trout seems more likely to finish closer to Bonds on this list than the group with three awards.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the 11th player with at least three MVP awards. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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