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Mike Trout has arubably been the biggest difference maker in all of baseball.

When the Los Angeles Angels began their season, the hype was focused on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, their two big off-season acquisitions.

But after enduring a miserable first month of the season, Trout was promoted, and the Angels took off. They went 18-12 in Trout’s first 30 games, and that excellent streak instantly put them back in the race.

He was leading them, their 21-year-old outfielder. Not Pujols, not Wilson. Trout. Most MVP voters would’ve handed him the award just after those first 30 games.

Nowadays, Trout isn’t quite as dominant. He has hit just .280/.350/.473 since August 15th. Obviously not bad, but they aren’t good under his standards. But if the season concluded today, he would still be the winner. Despite the mini rut, his numbers are still exceptional. As of Sunday, Trout leads the A.L. in batting average (.328), WOBA% (.423), stolen bases (44), and WAR (8.4).

However, the great debate will be whether or not he can still win the award is his Angels don’t make the playoffs. For most players, the answer would be no. Trout doesn’t fall in the most players category, however.

The way he electrified Los Angeles when he was called up hasn’t merely been forgotten, and the Angels aren’t out of the playoff chase just yet. Yes, the division is a steep hill to climb. The streaking Angels, who have won eight of their last ten games, still trail the first place Texas Rangers by six and a half games.

Plus, the Oakland Athletics are three and a half games ahead of them. In the wild card race though, the Angels are just one and a half games out. That’s a much more feasible hill to climb at this point.

So let’s say that the Angels fall short of the postseason, but the Tigers come up short as well. In that scenario, Trout would still have a legitimate chance win the MVP because Miguel Cabrera, his biggest rival, would be in the same boat as he would be, in that Cabrera played for a team that didn’t make the playoffs.

Granted, the Tigers might have a better chance to win their division seeing that they trail the Chicago White Sox by just three games, but time isn’t on their side. Plus, they have lost four straight. So the highly touted Tigers are going in the opposite direction compared to the Angels, but Cabrera is still in the MVP chase, just like Trout.

If both the Tigers and Angels miss the postseason, than Trout should win the coveted award. Josh Hamilton could arise as the favorite should that situation present itself, but in all likelihood, it’s a two-man duel between Cabrera and Trout.

Now, let’s assume that the Detroit Tigers surge  back and clinches a playoff berth while the Angels don’t. Trout is suddenly on the outside looking in, considering that Cabrera is on the winning team while Trout is watching the playoffs from the confront of his couch.

The voters like winners. Sure, Trout’s amazing numbers and winning qualities are impressive, but winners tend overshadow practically everything else. In that case, Cabrera might end up the winner.

There are some guarantees in Trout’s award collection, however. One obviously being the Rookie of the Year honor. Every other contender for this award is a very distant second place. And I mean very distant. The other award that will soon fill out Trout trophy case one day, is a gold glove. OK, maybe it’s not a lock, but there’s a good chance it could happen this year or very soon.

Even if Trout doesn’t take home the MVP award, he has had a season for the record books. He was always competing with Bryce Harper for the spotlight, and the spotlight is now solely on him. Considering that he was being called the next Mickey Mantle before getting his chance, Trout has unbelievably managed to deliver on the hype. Yes, he is that good.

Trout has lit up the baseball world in 2012 and excited the Angels’ fan base. Whether or not he wins the MVP award, Mike Trout’s season will go down as one of the best seasons ever by a player in the history of Major League Baseball.

This article was originally published at MLB Reports.  

MLB Reports is a partner of FootBasket. You can see more about them at their website. Follow them on Twitter @MLBReports


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