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7 incredible ways Trout is making MVP history

Angels star has placed first or second in seven out of last eight years
November 14, 2019

Angels center fielder Mike Trout claimed his third American League Most Valuable Player Award on Thursday, extending his incredible run as the sport’s very best player. At age 28, Trout is compiling a resume the baseball world has truly never seen before, and one of the best ways to measure

Angels center fielder Mike Trout claimed his third American League Most Valuable Player Award on Thursday, extending his incredible run as the sport’s very best player. At age 28, Trout is compiling a resume the baseball world has truly never seen before, and one of the best ways to measure his dominance over the game -- other than his yearly Wins Above Replacement totals -- is to scan his MVP placements over the first seven full seasons of his career.

Trout is just now in what would be the prime of nearly everyone else’s career, and he still seems to be getting better in several facets of his game. As the BBWAA awards week comes to a close, below are seven ways to take stock of the kind of history Trout is making when it comes to MVP voting:

• Trout is the first player in history to garner seven top-two showings in his league’s MVP voting in a span of eight seasons. He has four runner-up finishes, including last year to Mookie Betts, which ties him with Stan Musial, Albert Pujols and Ted Williams for the most all-time.

• Trout’s seven top-two showings tie him with Musial and Pujols for the second-most in history. Only Barry Bonds (nine) has more, and he didn’t log his seventh top-two showing until his age-37 season.

• Trout’s seven top-two showings tie him with Musial and Pujols for the second-most in history. Only Barry Bonds (nine) has more, and he didn’t log his seventh top-two showing until his age-37 season.

• Trout’s eight top-five showings are the most by a player through his age-27 season, and are tied for seventh-most in history, regardless of age:

Most top-five finishes in BBWAA MVP voting

1) Barry Bonds: 11

2) Albert Pujols: 10

3-T) Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ted Williams: 9

7-T) Trout, Hank Aaron: 8

• Another way to look at where Trout stands is via Baseball-Reference's MVP shares stat (For any given year, a player's vote share is his point total, divided by the maximum number of points possible. In 2019, for example, Trout's 355 vote points represented 85% of 420, which is what a unanimous winner would receive. A player's single-year vote shares are then added together to find his career total.)

Trout now has 5.91 career MVP shares, which ranks sixth all-time, more than halfway to No. 1, Barry Bonds (9.30), who is well ahead of second-place Stan Musial (6.96). Musial is one of three inner-circle Hall of Famers who ranks ahead of Trout, along with Ted Williams (6.43) and Willie Mays (5.94). The only other two ahead of Trout are Bonds and Albert Pujols (6.91).

• Trout’s win this year marks his seventh season in which he’s earned at least one first-place vote for MVP, tying him with Mantle and Pujols for third all-time behind Bonds (nine seasons) and Musial (eight).

• Trout certainly stands out in Angels history, which stretches back 59 seasons to 1961. In that time, Trout’s eight top-five MVP finishes are one less than all other Angels players combined, with Vladimir Guerrero the only other player to have more than one. Besides Trout, the Halos' only top-two finishes came when Guerrero won in 2004, and Don Baylor won in 1979.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.