NEW YORK – (Wire Service Report) – Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Chicago Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant won the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards, respectively, on Thursday in voting by Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Trout beat out the Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts and the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve to win his second AL MVP Award.
He is the first player in history to finish in the top two in MVP voting in each of his first five full seasons in the majors. Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds are the only other players in baseball history to finish in the top three in MVP voting in five straight years.
Trout was a runner-up to the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera in both 2012 and 2013. But Trout was a unanimous choice as AL MVP in 2014 and finished second to Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson last season.
“It means a lot,” Trout said on being considered among the best players every year. “Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be the best player. It didn’t matter what sport. Obviously, you work hard just to be in that conversation. There’s a lot of great players across the country and across the world that you’re playing against every day. To put your mindset to that and just to work hard to be the best.”
Trout won the award even though his team did not reach the playoffs. He hit .315 with 29 homers and 100 RBIs. He led the American League in both walks (116) and on-base percentage (.441).
He is considered among the best defensive outfielders as well, and is often considered the best all-around player in the game.
“As a mindset, I always told myself that,” he said. “But once I go out there and play I put that all behind me.”
Bryant was nearly a unanimous selection in the National League, beating out Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy and the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager.
Bryant spent most of his time at third base, and he is the first third baseman to win the award since Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones did it in 1999.
Bryant was the NL Rookie of the Year last season, and the 23-year-old improved his numbers this season while leading the Cubs to the best regular-season record in the majors and the Cubs’ first World Series title since 1908.He hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs this season.