General | Press Release | 11/15/2019

Trout, Bellinger voted MVPs

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Cody Bellinger (Perfect Game)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – When Mike Trout becomes a unanimous first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee five years after his retirement from the game – whenever that will be – the good people in Cooperstown might have to consider adding an additional room. Because when that day arrives, there’s a good chance a lot of priceless memorabilia will be coming their way.

Voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) on Thursday night named Trout, the Los Angeles Angels’ veteran centerfielder, the 2019 American League Most Valuable Player, the third time he has won the award in the last six years.

Trout, 28, edged Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman 355-335 in the final point tally. Trout picked up 17 first place votes and 13 second place votes while Bregman, an alumnus of the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic, was just the opposite with 13 first place votes and 17 second place votes.

The 2019 season was Trout’s eighth full season in the big leagues and he’s an eight-time All-Star. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2012 and was previously voted the AL MVP in 2014 and 2016. He finished as runner-up in the MVP balloting in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018, and was fourth in 2017; three players who are alumni of PG respective PG events have won the AL MVP award (see list below).

An injury ended Trout’s season on Sept. 7 after 134 games but he still managed to lead the majors in OBP (.438) and the American League in both slugging (.645) and OPS (1.083). He hit .291 with a career high 45 home runs and drove in 104 runs while scoring 110.

Trout, who enjoyed a stellar prep career at Millville (N.J.) Senior High School, played in eight PG WWBA tournaments in 2007 and 2008 with the New Jersey-based Tri-State Arsenal, including a pair of stops at the PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla.

“Those were great experiences,” Trout told PG during a spring training conversation in 2013. “Just to get out of New Jersey and see the competition from all across the country and to compete against other players that were doing the same things you were trying to do: get to the professional level. It was just good to get that exposure.”

The Angels made Trout the 25th overall pick of the first round in the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft which, in hindsight, seems incredibly late. 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg from the Washington Nationals was the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.

The 25-year-old Bregman, playing in his just his third big league season, produced a slash-line of .296/.423/.592 in 156 regular season games and collected 80 extra-base hits, including 41 home runs and 37 doubles. He drove in 112 runs and scored 122, and his 119 walks were a major league best.

PG American League MVP

2014:    Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

2015:    Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays

2016:    Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

2018:    Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

2019:    Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

… … …

IT ISN’T OFTEN THAT ANYTHING OF VALUE CAN BE SECURED during the first month of a major league season, but Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger did a lot to bolster his Most Valuable Player credentials just by the way he played in the season’s first 31 games.

Bellinger, a 24-year-old Arizona native, pounded out 47 hits – including 15 home runs, a triple and six doubles – and drove in 37 runs while playing in those 31 games, and went on to enjoy a super productive season in his third year in the major leagues.

Just how productive? It was attention-getting enough to earn Bellinger the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player award two years after taking home NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2017; he becomes the eighth player with a Perfect Game history to win the NL MVP (see list below).

Bellinger also joins Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout as prominent PG alumni that have won both MVP and ROY awards in their respective leagues.

The NL MVP voting was also tight with Bellinger out-pointing runner-up Christian Yelich 362-317. Bellinger received 19 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and one fifth-place vote while Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP, collected 10 firsts and 18 seconds to go with one third place vote and one fourth place vote.

A fourth-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft out Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., Bellinger participated in six Perfect Game events in 2011-12. He was included on the Top Prospect List at the 2012 PG National Showcase in Minneapolis and was named to the all-tournament team at the 2012 17u PG World Series and the 2012 PG Upperclass Fall National Championship.

“It’s been awesome,” Bellinger said of his PG experiences in the spring of 2013, just ahead of the start of his senior season at Hamilton HS. “My first really big (showcase) was in Minnesota and that’s when I kind of kick-started my offseason and started getting noticed by people; showing them what I could do in front of a ton of scouts. All those tournaments are really big deals and they help, and they’re always a lot of fun.”

Bellinger cooled off ever-so-slightly after his torrid start to the 2019 season, but not enough to cause even a ripple. He played in 156 games – 100 of which the Dodgers won – and slashed .305/.406/.629 with 84 extra-base hits (47 HRs), 115 RBI and 121 runs.

His 351 total bases led the National League and his 21 intentional walks led the major leagues. He posted career highs in every notable offensive category and his 108 strikeouts were a career low.

Yelich, whose season ended prematurely when he suffered a fractured kneecap on Sept. 10, played in 130 games. He won the National League batting and OBP titles at .329 and .429, respectively, and led the major leagues in slugging (.671) and OPS (1.100). He finished with 76 extra-base hits, including 44 home runs and 29 doubles.

Those numbers were very similar to his 2018 MVP totals, when he slashed .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs, seven triples, 34 doubles and big league-best 1.000 OPS. He is the first Perfect Game alumnus to win the NL MVP award for a second time, although six others have won once.

PG National League MVP

2010:    Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

2012:    Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

2013:    Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

2014:    Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

2015:    Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

2016:    Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

2018:    Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

2019:    Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

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