Mike Trout
Mike Trout doesn’t deserve to win the 2019 American League MVP Award. Let me explain. (Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Mike Trout is the consensus best player in baseball. Even if you don’t agree, I don’t think anyone is willing to disagree about it strongly enough to argue the case. Trout is amazing. We get it. Trout is having another monster 2019 season. The Angels outfielder is an 8.3 WAR player and trots out a battling line of .296/.440/.660. That also includes 42 jacks and an OPS of 1.100. The guy is borderline, not human. However, here is one thing I am willing to argue. Mike Trout does not deserve to win the MVP award. In fact, it’s a crime if he does.

The MVP award as presently constituted is defined as “Most Valuable Player”. Trout isn’t the most valuable player in baseball in any sense of the word. If Trout were worthy of the award, it would mean that he is the most valuable to his team in baseball. I’m just going by the definition. The Los Angeles Angels currently sit in 4th place with a record of 63-67. Their record is an accurate portrayal of their performance via posting a – 28 run differential on the season. That’s what the Angels are with Mike Trout. Without Mike Trout, the Angels are probably a last place team. Either way, they are under .500 with or without Mike Trout. If the Angles are not winning with him, then it’s impossible for Trout to win the MVP award. Trout has not been a valuable player towards a winning cause.

Mike Trout
Rafael Devers has been the best player on the best offense in baseball. Now that’s valuable. Did I mention he’s just 22-years-old and getting better? (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox is one player who is more deserving. Boston is at least in the hunt for a playoff spot. They are a team with a winning record. They also led baseball in runs scored. Devers has probably been the most important cog in that effort. Devers leads the American League in runs scored and RBI’s. Devers also beats Trout in average (.329) on the season. An incredible mark, especially for a 22-year-old. Devers also has more at-bats on the season. It doesn’t just take being great. It takes being great for the whole season. Devers has been more available than Trout. That should matter too. Look, even if you don’t think Devers has had a better season than Trout (He probably hasn’t) the Red Sox are a winning team in the hunt. The Angels are a losing team in 4th place. Trout hasn’t been ‘Valuable’ to a winning cause. That’s the definition of the award. Trout doesn’t fit the bill. Devers is a star too. He happens to be one that’s on a winning team. “VALUABLE”

Don’t try to say that I’m a Red Sox homer either. I would prefer if Devers doesn’t win the award. I think it would keep him hungrier to have a better season next year. One could argue that Mookie Betts winning the award in 2018 put too much pressure on him in 2019 to repeat that performance. I’d rather my guys get snubbed on every award. Devers didn’t even make the All-Star team. Can’t confirm or deny that it motivated him in the second half.

Mike Trout
In a season full of chaos, DJ LeMahieu has been the one constant on a first place team. Now that’s “VALUABLE” (Julio Cortez | AP)

DJ LaMahieu is another worthy candidate for the award. The Yankees have a sizeable lead in the AL East and have established themselves as a World Series contender. Something the Angels are light years away from being. The Yankees have been littered by the injury bug. At various points, this season, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorious, Aaron Hicks, and many, many others have been on the IL. It hasn’t mattered. They have found a way to win anyway. The number one reason why has been LaMahieu. He’s been the one constant in a revolving door of change on a first place team. Now that’s valuable.

LeMahieu is hitting .331 with a 139 OPS+ and always plays a gold glove defensive position. Oh, by the way, he’s done that too. Everywhere. He’s played all around the infield patching holes when needed. LeMahieu has been the Yankees rock. Credit to me for calling it prior to the season. LeMahieu has been more valuable to his team than Trout has. It’s not really arguable.

Again, I’m just using the definition of the award. If you disagree, take your anger up with the people who write the dictionary. I’m fine with giving Trout the award as long as the name of the award gets changed. He’s not valuable to a winning organization. That’s just the bottom line. Call it ‘Offensive player of the year. I’m fine with that. He’s just not valuable to his team. A team that’s under .500 and in 4th place. It’s why they should have traded him and still probably should.

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