Which superstar is the frontrunner for AL MVP – Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts or Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout?
Mike Trout has been widely considered to be the best position player in baseball from the moment he burst onto the scene in 2012. The two-time MVP is having another incredible season. Is it the best performance in the league? Or is this the year that Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts surpasses him?
A recent ESPN article outlined why Trout is on pace to deliver the greatest season in major league history, at least according to Baseball-Reference’s wins above replacement. Through the quarter mark of the season, Trout is on pace for a jaw-dropping 14.2 WAR that would top Babe Ruth‘s single-season record of 14.1 WAR set in 1923.
Trout’s all-around game makes him the perfect specimen for an all-encompassing statistic such as WAR. However, Red Sox fans are left to wonder why their own five-tool player isn’t leading the category. The Gold Glove outfielder who currently leads the league in almost every offensive category.
At this point of the season, Trout’s major-league leading 3.5 WAR tops Betts, who ranks second with 3.1 WAR. How can there be that much of a gap when Betts has the edge in almost every category that factors into the formula?