Angels outfielder Mike Trout has finally won an MVP award. After losing out on the hardware in each of the last two seasons to Miguel Cabrera, Trout was selected unanimously as the American League’s MVP for his superb 2014 campaign. He is the youngest to ever win the award unanimously. Teammates Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick each received down-ballot votes, finishing 17th and 18th, respectively.
Trout led the league in Wins Above Replacement according to both FanGraphs (7.8) and Baseball Reference (7.9). He hit .287/.377/.561 with 16 stolen bases, 36 home runs, and a league-leading 111 RBI. He also led the league in runs scored with 115.
The 22-year-old Trout inked a six-year, $144.5 million contract extension with the Angels back in March. Given today’s report that the Marlins have discussed a $300 million deal with Giancarlo Stanton, the Trout contract might end up being a heck of a bargain.
Current free agent Victor Martinez finished in second place while Indians outfielder Michael Brantley finished third.
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.