Mike Trout named Baseball America’s Player of the Year

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He was named Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year too, but that’s a no-brainer. It’s the Player of the Year Award that will probably get the Cabreraites a bit miffed:

His all-around performance was stunning enough to put him right in the thick of the American League MVP debate with Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Traditionalists favor Cabrera, but Trout has garnered widespread support through a rare combination of offense, baserunning and superb defense in center field. Trout’s 10.7 wins above replacement (WAR) was the highest for a position player since Bonds posted 11.6 WARs for the Giants in 2001 and 2002.

Trout’s performance earned him another first, becoming the only player to win Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year and Major League Player of the Year awards in the same season.

Of course the Cabrera folks shouldn’t be too upset. The Baseball America’s Player of the Year Award is not a invariable harbinger of MVP awards. Only one award is given out for all of baseball and pitchers win it a lot more often than they do the MVP award. The last time one of BA’s POY’s won the MVP — isn’t that fun to say — was 2009, when Joe Mauer took home the hardware. One of the MVP winners was the Baseball America Player of the Year in five of the last ten years.

Congrats Mike Trout. But Mr. Cabrera should probably still plan on keeping a space open in his trophy case when the MVP is announced.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.