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Mike Trout Named 2012 Rookie of the Year

November 13th, 2012

Surprising absolutely nobody, Angels centerfielder Mike Trout was awarded the American League Rookie of the Year and became only the second Angel to ever be honored as such. In 1993, Trout’s aquatic companion Tim Salmon won the award over the likes of Jason Bere and Wayne Kirby. Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Wei-Yin Chen, and Jarrod Parker rounded out this season’s top five in what was a very strong rookie class.

Trout won the award unanimously, which was really the only drama attached to this award. I was hoping some rogue writer would cast their lot with Yu Darvish so that Angels fans could vilify them and have something to complain about for two days. But, alas, all the voters sided with Trout, who had been a shoo-in to win since July.

There have been approximately two million articles written about Trout’s literally historic season. He is arguably the best rookie of all time, arguably the best 20-year old of all time, one of the best seasons from a centerfielder ever, and he posted the first 10-win season for a position player since that guy Barry Bonds did so in 2004. To put into perspective just how studly Trout was, here are some stats along with his MLB ranking (everyone, not just rookies) for each:

- .326 batting average: 4th in MLB

- .399 OBP: 5th

- .564 Slugging: 4th, and from a guy many scouts thought would ONE DAY top out at about 25 homers

- .409 wOBA: 3rd

- 166 wRC+: 1st

- 49 stolen bases: 1st

- 23 defensive runs saved: 2nd among centerfielders, in about 450 fewer innings than 1st place run saver Michael Bourn

- 10.0 fWAR: 1st

Numbers like those are why Trout was a lock to win the award and why he already may be the best all-around player in baseball at only age-21.

Trout’s award season is just about coming to an end. He didn’t win the Gold Glove many thought he should,* but he did collect a Silver Slugger — awarded to the best offensive player at each position — for centerfield.

*Trout and Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan being snubbed from Gold Gloves was embarrassing and why I try to pay no attention to them.

Later this week, Trout will finish in the top two of MVP voting and thus end his award season. Barring a minor upset on Trout’s behalf, Miguel Cabrera will walk away with the trophy because he won the Triple Crown. Many Angels fans may not agree with it, but it’s fine. If Trout can build on his 2012 campaign, he’ll end his career with a bushel of MVPs anyway.

For now, the Rookie of the Year is a well-deserved consolation prize.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewkarcher

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