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Mike Trout is the MVP of MVP voting

Angels star outfielder finished 1st or 2nd in MVP voting 7 times in his 8 full seasons

MLB: AUG 19 Angels at Rangers Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mike Trout won the 2019 American League Most Valuable Player award, his third career MVP honor. Though it was his first such award in three years, Trout has been at the forefront of the MVP discussion for each of his eight full seasons, befitting his status as the best player in baseball.

Trout set a career high with 45 home runs this season, even more impressive considering he missed the final three weeks with a foot injury.

Trout from 2012-19 leads baseball in times on base, runs scored, extra-base hits, total bases, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and wRC+. His lead in Wins Above Replacement is 60 percent more than second place in the Baseball-Reference version, and 54.4 percent more in the FanGraphs version.

He just happens to be challenged by different players each year, with Trout the lone constant.

In his eight full seasons, Trout has won three MVP awards and finished second a record-tying four times, the latter shared with inner-circle legends Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Albert Pujols.

Barry Bonds, with seven awards, is the only player to win more MVPs than Trout. Bonds won his third MVP in his age-28 season (1993), a year older than Trout.

The only time Trout didn’t finish first or second in MVP voting was in 2017, when he missed over six weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. Though limited to just 114 games that year, Trout still managed to finish fourth for the AL MVP.

There are 10 slots on an MVP ballot. Players get 14 points for a first-place vote, then nine points for second place, eight points for third place, all the way on down to one point for a 10th-place vote. Trout in his eight full seasons (2012-19) has been named on every single MVP ballot, 238 out of 238.

To give you an idea of how remarkable that is, the only other player to be named on every single MVP ballot from 2016-18 was Nolan Arenado in the National League, a perfect streak broken this year when he appeared on only 27 of 30. Mookie Betts came close too from 2016-18, appearing on 86 out of 90 ballots. But that’s only three years. Trout is at eight years running.

These aren’t low placements or token votes for Trout either. He’s only receive five votes lower than fifth place in his eight years — Trout was voted seventh by one voter in 2013 and again in 2016, then in his injury-shortened year he got two ninth-place votes and a 10th-place vote. Every other vote has been in the top five, including a whopping 80.7 percent (192 out of 238) either first or second.

Trout received 355 points in the 2019 vote, out of a possible 420, or 84.5 percent. Baseball-Reference tracks this as an 0.85 award share. Trout now has 5.91 career MVP award shares, which ranks sixth all-time. He also just completed his age-27 season. Let’s see how he compares with the folks ahead of him on the list.

Most MVP award shares, MLB history

Player MVP wins 2nd-place Award shares, career Shares through age-27 yr
Player MVP wins 2nd-place Award shares, career Shares through age-27 yr
Barry Bonds 7 2 9.30 2.66
Stan Musial 3 4 6.96 3.16
Albert Pujols 3 4 6.91 4.07
Ted Williams 2 4 6.43 2.59
Willie Mays 2 2 5.94 2.44
Mike Trout 3 4 5.91 5.91
Mickey Mantle 3 3 5.79 2.93
Source: The wonderful Baseball-Reference

Win or lose, Mike Trout is always a part of the MVP discussion.