It had never been so difficult for Mike Trout to arrive at the ballpark, get his mind and body ready, and perform at the level baseball fans have come to expect.
And still, nobody did it better in the American League.
Trout overcame injury and tragedy to win his third AL MVP award Thursday night, getting 17 of 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros was second, and that duo combined for all the first- and second-place votes. Trout also won the award in 2014 and ’16.
“This year was probably the toughest year,” Trout said.
Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger made it a Southern California sweep, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich for the NL prize. Bellinger got 19 of 30 first-place votes, Yelich got 10, and Washington’s Anthony Rendon got one while finishing third. Yelich won the award last year.
Trout had season-ending foot surgery in September while the Angels languished to a fourth-place finish. The outfielder played just 134 games but still set a career high with 45 homers. He batted .291, led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and drove in 104 runs.