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Angels star Mike Trout wins third AL MVP award

Mike Trout, Angels

Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout won his third American League MVP Award on Thursday night in an extremely close race.

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman finished in second place after earning 13 first-place votes (Trout had 17), and Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien rounded out the finalists in third.

Trout becomes the 11th player in MLB to history to win at least three MVP awards, and he now trails only Barry Bonds for the most MVPs. Bonds won the award seven times.

The 28-year-old made history before he even took the field in 2019. Trout signed a record-breaking 12-year, $430 million deal with the Angels in March, making him the highest-paid player ever.

As a bookend, Jayson Stark of The Athletic reports that no player had won the MVP award after missing the last three weeks of the regular season…until Trout:

So what happened in between? Oh, just the usual Trout brilliance.

Trout led the American League in slugging (.645) and OPS (1.083) while leading the MLB in OBP (.438), OPS+ (185), wRC+ (180) and fWAR (8.6). He also hit a career-high 45 homers with 104 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

Whereas Christian Yelich’s September injury may have been the decisive factor in the NL MVP race, Trout’s own injury (he missed the last three weeks after undergoing surgery on his foot) was not enough to overshadow what was arguably his best season yet.

Trout continues to prove that he is the seminal player of this current generation. At 28, he has already passed a number of Hall of Famers in WAR in just eight full seasons. Needless to say, there will almost certainly be more MVPs in Trout’s future.