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Trout is MVP finalist, assuring 7th top-3 finish

Halos' star looking to become 11th player to win honor three times
@RhettBollinger
November 4, 2019

ANAHEIM -- It comes as no surprise that Angels superstar Mike Trout was named one of three finalists for the 2019 American League MVP Award, along with Houston’s Alex Bregman and Oakland’s Marcus Semien. Trout, a two-time AL MVP, has finished in the top two in the balloting for the

ANAHEIM -- It comes as no surprise that Angels superstar Mike Trout was named one of three finalists for the 2019 American League MVP Award, along with Houston’s Alex Bregman and Oakland’s Marcus Semien.

Trout, a two-time AL MVP, has finished in the top two in the balloting for the award in six of the past seven seasons, finishing a career-worst fourth in 2017. Trout is considered the slight favorite over Bregman, and he said his goal is to win the award every year. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 3 p.m. PT, live on MLB Network.

The MVP, Cy, Rookie, Manager finalists are ...

“It always motivates me,” Trout said at the end of the season. “I come in all the time, every year, to try to be the best player in the league, the best player on the field at all times. If you are finishing in the top three, you are doing something right. Obviously, you want to be No. 1, but that’s my mindset coming in every year.”

Trout, 27, had another MVP-caliber season, hitting .291/.438/.645 with a career-high 45 homers to go along with 104 RBIs and 110 runs scored. Trout led the AL in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He called it his best offensive season to date.

All-time AL MVP Award winners

"Just offensively, in the box, this is the best I've felt,” Trout said. “Just squaring up baseballs. Making adjustments quicker, and barreling up a lot more balls."

But Trout was limited to 134 games, as he missed the final three weeks of the season after undergoing surgery to remove a Morton's neuroma from his right foot. No player has ever missed the last three weeks of a season and won the MVP Award. The Angels also finished fourth in the AL West, losing 90 games for the first time since 1999.

Bregman is Trout’s top competition. The 25-year-old hit .296/.423/.592 with 41 homers and 112 RBIs in 156 games for the AL champion Astros. Trout led Bregman in FanGraphs's Wins Above Replacement by a close margin, with 8.6 WAR to 8.5, while Bregman led Trout in Baseball-Reference WAR, 8.4 to 8.3. Trout said that he monitored Bregman’s season and is excited to find out the result.

"I follow baseball all the time. I’m like a baseball nerd, I guess," Trout said. "I follow him. There are a lot of guys I follow. Bregman is a good dude. We are friends."

Players with most MVP Awards in MLB history

If Trout wins, he’ll become the 11th player with three MVP Awards. Barry Bonds has won the most, with seven, while Trout would move into a tie for second place with nine others, including his teammate Albert Pujols. The others who have won three MVP Awards are Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio and Jimmie Foxx. All but Bonds, Rodriguez and Pujols are in the Hall of Fame.

Even if he doesn’t win, Trout became the second player to finish in the top three in MVP voting seven times, with Pujols. He’s also now tied with Ted Williams and Mantle for the most top-three MVP finishes in AL history.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.