Miller: Does Mike Trout’s MVP win answer who’s most valuable?

From Sam Miller at on November 18, 2016:

In 2010, after years of rewarding the pitcher with the most wins, Cy Young voters gave the award to Felix Hernandez. The Mariners ace had gone 13-12, and the vote was celebrated by many as a victory not just for the King but for the voting process in general. The tyranny of wins was dead. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America, whose members vote on the award, had leapt into the modern ways of evaluating players. Our November tradition of tearing apart the down-ballot selections of baseball writers was, mercifully, over.

And then the next six American League Cy Youngs went to the league leader in pitcher wins, including Rick Porcello this week. Just goes to show you … something.

On Thursday, Mike Trout won his second AL MVP award. This is the outcome I had hoped for: The best player won the award that most closely corresponds to the question, “Who was the best player?” It’s the outcome that the BBWAA had avoided in three of the previous four seasons, when Trout was (by Wins Above Replacement, and in all three of the most prominent public models of it) the best player in baseball but the runner-up in MVP voting. The lone year he won — 2014 — has been the exception that proves the rule, as Trout led the league in RBIs and played on a division champion. He was the best player in baseball, too, but it didn’t feel like he won that one because he was Mike Trout, you fools.

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Originally published: November 22, 2016. Last Updated: November 22, 2016.