Trout among three finalists for AL MVP Award
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout was once again named a finalist for the American League Most Valuable Player Award on Tuesday, joining Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson and Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain.
Results, decided by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, will be announced Thursday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
The award is basically a two-man race between Trout and Donaldson, with Donaldson -- a stellar defensive player coming off a prolific offensive year for a first-place team -- seemingly the favorite. Regardless of how it shakes out, though, Trout is expected to finish within the top two in MVP voting for a fourth consecutive season, a feat accomplished by only one AL player -- the late, great Yogi Berra.
Trout, last year's unanimous AL MVP Award winner, finished his fourth full season in the big leagues with a career-high 41 home runs. The 24-year-old center fielder led the AL with a .590 slugging percentage and a .991 OPS, adding 90 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, 104 runs, 92 walks and a .299 batting average.
Trout's FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement score of 9.0 trailed only Bryce Harper (9.5) and led all AL players. Donaldson finished second with a score of 8.7, while batting .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers and an AL-leading 123 RBIs. Cain batted .307/.361/.477 with 16 homers, 28 steals and a 6.6 fWAR.
Trout slumped to a .689 OPS in August, his lowest mark for any month since his first full season in 2012. But he turned it on in September, posting a 1.078 OPS to help a shorthanded Angels team keep its postseason hopes alive until the final day of the regular season. Asked about the MVP race late in the year, Angels manager Mike Scioscia declared: "There's nobody in the league who is doing more for a team than Mike Trout is doing for our team."