Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw have won the American and National League Most Valuable Player awards, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announced today.
Trout has captured his first of likely many MVP awards after finishing second to Miguel Cabrera over the past two seasons, even when many thought he was more deserving. This season, with Cabrera missing time due to injury, and Trout continuing to excel, he was the shoe-in to become MVP. He won the award unanimously, the first to do so since Ken Griffey Jr. did in 1997.
Trout is the fifth-youngest MVP ever, behind Vida Blue, Johnny Bench, Stan Musial, and Cal Ripken Jr. Three of those other four (Bench, Musial, and Ripken) are currently members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Trout may just be on his way, but at 23-years-old, it is way to early to know.
Kershaw was my choice for MVP, but since he was a pitcher, it was between him, Andrew McCutchen, and Giancarlo Stanton. I felt that he deserved the award the most, due to the fact that he was quite frankly more valuable to the Dodgers than the latter two were to the Pirates and Marlins. Kershaw was absolutely dominant for a pitcher, while McCutchen and Stanton were really good, but not dominant.
Kershaw barely edged out Stanton, earning just 57 more points. McCutchen was only 29 points behind Stanton. The race was really tight, but in the end, I believe the BBWAA made the best choice.
On the season, Trout hit .287/.377/.561 (.939 OPS) with 36 home runs and 111 runs batted in. Trout is a three-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, 2012 AL Rookie of the Year, and has finished second in the MVP voting in both 2012 and 2013. Trout is easily among the best players in the major leagues and it was only about time he won an MVP award. Trout was worth 7.8 fWAR, which was the lowest of his career (!!!) with a minimum 500 plate appearances.
The 26-year-old Kershaw went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and a 1.81 FIP in 198.1 innings pitched. Kershaw just recently captured his third Cy Young award in four years, and has led the National League in ERA in each of the past four seasons (WOW). Kershaw tossed six complete games this season and struck out 239 hitters, averaging over one per inning. He was worth 7.2 fWAR, the highest of his career.
Congratulations to Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw on winning the MVP awards!