Angels center fielder Mike Trout will not get to defend his 2019 American League Most Valuable player honors in this year’s balloting. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America released its AL MVP finalists Monday, and despite another brilliant year, Trout didn’t make the cut. Instead, the voters will decide among Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Ramirez didn’t look like a contender for the award heading into the season’s final month, but the tear he went on in September put him on the map and may make him the favorite. The 28-year-old posted a video game-like 1.294 OPS with 10 home runs in 82 at-bats in the year’s last few weeks to help the Indians to the playoffs. He ended the regular season with a .292/.386/.607 line (good for a 163 wRC+), 17 homers, 10 steals, an AL-leading 3.4 fWAR and 2.2 bWAR over 254 plate appearances.
The only two AL position players who beat out Ramirez in bWAR were LeMahieu and Abreu, who tied for a league-high 2.8. It was a dream contract year showing for LeMahieu, who’s now a free agent. Once he turns down the Yankees’ qualifying offer, he’ll hit the market fresh off a season as arguably the most productive hitter in his league. The 32-year-old won a batting title, paced the AL in wRC+ (177), slashed .364/.421/.590 with 10 HRs, and finished fifth among AL position players in fWAR (2.5) across 216 trips to the plate.
Meanwhile, the White Sox’s decision to re-sign Abreu last offseason couldn’t have paid off much more than it did in 2020. Abreu was instrumental in the White Sox’s first playoff berth since 2008, as the franchise icon batted .317/.370/.617 (167 wRC+) in 262 PA. He also ended up second in the AL in homers (19) and third in fWAR (2.6).
After digesting all of those numbers, which of the three do you think deserves this year’s MVP honors? Cast your vote below …
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