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Mike Trout is unanimous AL Rookie of the Year winner

Nov 12, 2012, 6:22 PM EST

Mike Trout Getty Images

There’s plenty of room for debate when it comes to this year’s BBWAA awards, but there was one certainly; despite an historically awesome crop of competitors, Mike Trout would win American League Rookie of the Year honors in a landslide.

The official announcement came Monday, with Trout claiming the top spot on all 28 ballots. Yoenis Cespedes finished second, followed by Yu Darvish in third.

Left out of the mix were pitchers Jarrod Parker (13-8, 3.47  ERA), Wei-Yin Chen (12-11, 4.02 ERA), Tommy Milone (13-10, 3.74 ERA), Ryan Cook 2.09 ERA, 14 Sv), Matt Moore (11-11, 3.81 ERA) and Scott Diamond (12-9, 3.54 ERA), all of whom would have strong threats to finish in the top three most years.

Trout hit .326/.399/.564 with 30 homers and 83 RBI last season despite spending most of the first month in the minors. He finished second in the AL to Miguel Cabrera in both average and OPS. He led the league with 129 runs scored and 49 steals.

It would have been a much more intriguing vote had MLB not restored Trout’s rookie eligibility after it was originally ruled to have expired. Trout spent 38 non-September days on the Angels’ active roster in 2011, which is under the 45-day limit for rookies, but he was credited with an extra 17 days of service time because of a quick recall from the minors following a demotion. MLB correctly decided that the extra service time, while officially part of his record, shouldn’t count against his rookie status.

Next up for Trout is a likely second-place finish to Cabrera in the AL MVP balloting. That announcement got a whole lot more interesting today with the news that the BBWAA will be releasing the individual ballots for each award.

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Update: The BBWAA has released the ballots.

  1. roverkarlthecannedham - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Deserved, in my opinion. Second place to Miguel Cabrera for MVP is another matter. Of the two I would prefer young Trout over Mr. Cabrera for MVP. He is a far more complete player, never once took a ball off the face, and is a solid citizen and teammate by all accounts. I saw too much of Mr. Cabrera’s temper tantrums and walk-outs leaving his teammates to answer questions. I saw too much of him striking out on the inside breaking pitch during the World Series. I cannot help but blame him for the four measly games we saw. Young Trout is the MVP as far as my vote counts.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      While Trout is healthier than canned ham; Cabrera won it fair and square as soon as he won the Triple Crown. I also give him credit for being a good team player, by willingly changing his position to accommodate Fielder. The vote was taken after the end of the regular season, so the playoffs did not affect the MVP vote.

      • badvlad - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        So if Josh Hamilton had hit two more home runs and prevented Cabrera from winning the TC, would you still think he should win MVP? If someone else’s performance is altering your perception of a player, isn’t that a sign that you’re evaluating that player poorly?

      • roverkarlthecannedham - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        Yes, I know about the vote timing, Mr. Canadian. I am just referencing my own vote. Such as it is. And, in the absence of BBWAA credentials, I can vote whenever I want with whatever information I want. I wouldn’t vote Cabrerra. I find him hard to like. I do however like Young Trout’s joy in playing, his ability and his solid reputation as a good teammate. You raise a fair point about making allowance for Prince Fielder on Cabrera’s part. He is worthy of consideration and high consideration. But, since the MVP is a two horse race, my horse is Young Trout.

        And do not impugn ham, sir. If you were a lady of a certain age, intelligence and wit I would be pleased to show you how good ham can be for you. Since you appear to be appallingly male and I decline to submit a list of references, we shall have to agree to disagree on this one.

      • buddaley - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM

        I understand the tradition behind identifying the triple crown and also how rare it is for someone to win it. But my question is why is it the triple crown.

        Let’s leave aside progressive analysis for a moment and use only traditional (or generally accepted) stats. Why isn’t the triple crown OBP/HR/Runs? After all, isn’t OBP probably even more important than BA in determining a hitter’s value-or to be more fair-minded than necessary-at least as important? And we will keep home runs, but aren’t runs pretty similar to RBIs as they too reflect something about a batter’s skill while being at least partially a result of other player’s skills?

        If we forget tradition for a moment and consider the triple crown OBP/HR/Runs, Trout beats out Cabrera in two of the three categories. And given his obvious superiority in defensive and base running value, it should be clear that Trout deserves the award before Cabrera. It isn’t even necessary to consider numbers such as WAR.

      • loungefly74 - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        @badvlad…not sure you understand the signifiance of the TC…he lead the league in those 3 incredible catagories. that said, if Hamilton did beat Miggy in the HR’s…does it diminish miggy’s accomplishment? Yes…yes it does. and clearly makes the MVP discussion harder…
        @buddaley…lets not start making up different definitions of the TC. i understand sabermetrics are cool and interesting but dont take away from the history of the game. there is a good reason why its the BA, HR, and RBI. im not gonna go into it (ive done it several times already on this site)
        we will see…we will see. so if miggy wins it, then the voters are not wise because they are not buying into sabermetrics? nah man, they got it right. the TC is no joke. miggy earned it.

        about Trout winning the ROY…great choice. well deserved.

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:49 PM

        Changing positions has nothing to do with the MVP

    • dickclydesdale - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Trout no doubt is on designer steroids, he has the head the size of a ryno.

      • roverkarlthecannedham - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        Ah, dicky. What is it you young folks say in moments like these? “Trolling troll tolls”? Yes. That is it.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Good news for Craig. He wins his bet and gets to keep his oldest child.

  3. geoknows - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    It’s not MLB that gave Trout rookie status. MLB actually does not recognize Trout as a rookie, and his official service time reflects that. It’s the BBWAA that ruled that Trout’s exclusion would be outside the spirit of their eligibility rules for the award. It’s their award, and it’s well within their rights to do so, even though it is not in accordance with MLB’s view of him.

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 13, 2012 at 5:01 AM

      Your reply is logical, but I thought it was MLB that made the ruling on Trout’s rookie eligibility: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/02/mlb-restores-mike-trouts-rookie-status/

  4. pkswally024 - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Saw Mike at WaWa the other day. Great guy.

  5. hardballtalkusername - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Well….yeah….

  6. millmannj - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Now let’s see the BBWAA release the ballots for the Hall of Fame voting.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM

      What’s with the public shaming on the ballots?

  7. cosanostra71 - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    woo! Go Trout!

  8. craigmaitland - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    MVP if given to Cabrera should change the trophy to best MVH most valuable hitter. If you take Trouts defence and base running into account he should win the MVP as well.

  9. mungman69 - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Cabrera played on a playoff team, Trout did not. That carries a lot of weight with the voters. Cabrera moved to third base and while he’s no gold glover he didn’t embarrass himself either. And you can’t change the categories the define the triple crown. It’s baseball.

    • nbjays - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      Trout’s team had a better record than Miggy’s team. The crappy division got the Tigers into the postseason, not Cabrera.

    • crackersnap - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      You did realize, of course, that Miggy had already played 1/3 of his career at third base prior to “moving” this past season, right?

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