Angels’ Mike Trout edges Astros’ Alex Bregman for AL MVP – ESPN

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Angels’ Mike Trout edges Astros’ Alex Bregman for AL MVP – ESPN

6:51 PM ET

  • Alden GonzalezESPN Staff Writer

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    • Joined ESPN in 2016 to cover the Los Angeles Rams
    • Previously covered the Angels for MLB.com

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout captured his third American League MVP Award on Thursday, edging Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman.

Trout received 17 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, with Bregman receiving the other 13. Trout and Bregman were either first or second on all 30 ballots.

Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien finished third in the voting.

Trout, 28, trails only Barry Bonds for most career MVPs. Bonds finished with seven, accruing four of them after the age of 35. Ten others — Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt and now Trout — have three.

Trout set a career high with 45 home runs, capitalizing on a season when baseballs were presumed to be juiced, before missing the Angels’ final 19 games because of a foot injury.

Playing through the pain of his lingering foot issue combined with the death of close friend and teammate Tyler Skaggs on July 1 made this year “probably the toughest year,” Trout said. Still, after often deferring to veterans as a young star, Trout put himself into a leadership role following Skaggs’ death.

“It was my time,” Trout said, adding that “it was extremely tough mentally and emotionally for us at the end of the year.”

Trout led the majors in on-base percentage (.438), trailed only Christian Yelich in slugging percentage (.645) and paced the sport in weighted runs created plus (180).

Trout’s 8.6 FanGraphs wins above replacement was just slightly ahead of Bregman’s 8.5, marking the sixth time in eight full seasons that Trout has either led or tied for the lead in FanGraphs WAR. It was enough to make up for the fact that Trout’s Angels lost 90 games, missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons and ultimately fired their manager, replacing Brad Ausmus with Joe Maddon.

Trout has already compiled 73.4 career FanGraphs WAR, placing him 47th on the all-time leaderboard. By the end of next season, he can reasonably move into the top 35 — with 10 years still remaining on the 12-year, $426.5 million extension he signed in March.

Bregman, 25, finished the 2019 season with a .296/.423/.592 slash line that compared favorably to Trout’s. Bregman added 41 home runs, led the majors with 119 walks, filled in at shortstop when Carlos Correa missed time and played his best down the stretch for the eventual AL champions, batting .372 with a 1.236 OPS and 37 extra-base hits after Aug. 1.

Semien tallied a career-high 7.6 FanGraphs WAR, fifth-most in the majors, and was one of only five players to play in all 162 games this season. In addition to playing outstanding defense at shortstop, Semien batted .285/.369/.522 with 33 home runs and 343 total bases.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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