Is Mike Trout making a case to be considered baseball’s greatest player?
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win a third MVP Award. Trout was the 2019 American League MVP, an award he also won in 2014 and 2016.
In eight years in the majors, Trout has three MVP Awards, has finished second in the balloting for the award four times (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018) and was fourth in the voting for the honor in 2017. That’s eight Top 5 finish in the A.L. MVP voting in the first eight years of his career, and seven Top 2 finishes in the first eight years of his career. Oh, did I mention, Trout just turned 28 in August of this past year.
These are some pretty staggering numbers. Trout’s third MVP award this past season came in his age 27 year; of the other 10 players who have won three or more MVP awards, only one player, Stan Musial, won his third MVP honor in his age 27 season.
Here is a look at what age each of the 11 players with three or more MVP Awards won their third MVP honor. (Barry Bonds leads this group with seven MVP Awards; the other 10 players listed each won three MVP Awards.)
Age 27: Stan Musial, Mike Trout
Age 28: Barry Bonds
Age 29: Albert Pujols
Age 30: Yogi Berra, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle
Age 31: Alex Rodriguez
Age 32: Joe DiMaggio
Age 33: Roy Campanella
Age 36: Mike Schmidt
Trout won his three MVPs over the course of six seasons. All of the players who have won three MVPs won their first three over the span of four to seven years. Barry Bonds won his first three MVP Awards over the course of four seasons, while Musial, Berra, Campanella, Rodriguez and Pujols each won their three MVPs over a five-year span. Trout and Joe DiMaggio each won their three MVP Awards over a six-season span, while Foxx, Mantle and Schmidt won their three MVPs over seven years.
Here’s three more stats about Trout’s MVP honors:
- His four second-place finishes in the MVP voting are tied for the most in MLB history. Musial, Pujols and Ted Williams also finished second in the MVP voting four times in their careers.
- Trout’s seven Top 2 finishes in the MVP Award are tied for second most in baseball history. Bonds tops the list with nine, while Trout is tied for second with Musial and Pujols.
- Trout’s eight Top 5 finishes in the MVP voting is tied for sixth most all-time. Bonds finished in the Top 5 of the MVP Award 11 times, most in MLB history. He is followed by Pujols with 10 Top 5 finishes, Mantle, Willie Mays and Ted Williams with nine, and Trout and Hank Aaron with eight Top 5 MVP appearances. Trout is the only player in history to finish in the Top 5 of MVP balloting in each of his first eight seasons in majors.
When you consider that Trout is only 28 years of age, the scary thought is that if he stays healthy, he may still have some more MVP seasons ahead of him. Of the 11 men who have won three or more MVPs, eight of them won an MVP in their 30s.
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This week Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout won the American League MVP Award for the second time. He became the 31st player in baseball history to win the MVP more than once, and at the age of 25, he could join an even more select group should he in the future win his third… or more!
The players who have won baseball’s MVP Award three or more times: Barry Bonds (7), and Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt, all who won it three times.
Of the 31 players who have won the award multiple times, 23 are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Included in this list of eight multiple MVP Award winners who are not in the Hall are three active players and five others who may (or may not) get in. Here’s a brief look at these eight players and the likelihood they will join the group of 23 who are already in the Hall of Fame.
Barry Bonds: Last played in 2007. Career batting average of .298, 762 HRs, 2,558 RBI. Little doubt his numbers get him into the Hall, but the steroid suspicions will likely keep him out until the voters take a different attitude about his belonging in the Hall.
Miguel Cabrera: Active. Career .321 average, 446 HRs and 1,553 RBI. Good chance at the Hall. He is only 33 and had a .316 average this year with 38 HR and 108 RBI… still playing at a high level which could see him increasing his impressive stats.
Juan Gonzalez: Last played in 2005. Career average of .295, 434 HRs and 1,404 RBI. Solid career but probably not Hall worthy. Dropped off the ballot in 2012 after not receiving the required five percent.
Roger Maris: Last played in 1968. Career average of .260, 275 HRs and 850 RBI. Two fantastic seasons really catapulted his career, but his career numbers are just not good enough.
Dale Murphy: Last played in 1993. Career average of .265, 398 HRs and 1,266 RBI. A classy, hard-nosed player who played 15 of his 18 years with the Braves in Atlanta. Good career, but not Hall worthy.
Albert Pujols: Active. Career average of .309, 592 HRs and 1,817 RBI. Probably as close to a sure thing of today’s players.
Alex Rodriguez: Last played in 2016. Career average of .295, 696 HRs and 2,086 RBI. A mirror case of Barry Bonds; the numbers get the door open, but the steroid whispers will probably keep him out until the writers change their tune.
Mike Trout: Active. Career average of .306, 168 HRs and 497 RBI. Two MVP Awards in five years, and he’s barely 25. Today’s top player who will, prevent of injuries, win more awards in his career. His career trajectory seems to be securely planted in a visit to Cooperstown.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp