New York — Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout overcame injury and tragedy to win his third American League MVP award.
Trout got 17 of 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Thursday. Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros was second with the other 13 first-place votes. Brother Rice alum D.J. LeMahieu, of the Yankees, finished fourth in the voting.
Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger made it an L.A. sweep, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich for the NL prize. Bellinger got 19 of 30 first-place votes, Yelich got 10, and Washington’s Anthony Rendon got one while finishing third. Yelich won the award last year.
Trout had season-ending foot surgery in September. The outfielder played just 134 games but still set a career high with 45 homers. He batted .291, led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and drove in 104 runs. It was just enough to avoid a fifth second-place finish.
The 28-year-old shined even following the death of close friend and teammate Tyler Skaggs on July 1. Trout smashed a 454-foot homer wearing Skaggs’ No. 45 in the team’s first game back, when L.A. pitchers threw a combined no-hitter.
Trout is the 10th three-time MVP, joining Barry Bonds, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt. Bonds is the only player with more than three (seven).
“What an emotional last few months,” Trout said.
The 24-year-old Bellinger and his loose, left-handed swing launched 47 homers with a .305 average, 115 RBIs and a 1.035 OPS.
“It’s what you dream of man,” Bellinger said.
Around the horn
The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen by signing left-hander reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $40-million contract.
... Pitcher Jake Odorizzi accepted a $17.8-million qualifying offer to stay with the Minnesota Twins and first baseman José Abreu did so with the Chicago White Sox. Rejecting the qualifying offers were Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson and Marcell Ozuna.
Chris McCosky’s AL MVP ballot
1. Mike Trout, Angels
2. Alex Bregman, Astros
3. Marcus Semien, A’s
4. D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees
5. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
6. Nelson Cruz, Twins
7. George Springer, Astros
8. Mookie Betts, Red Sox
9. Matt Chapman, A’s
10. Justin Verlander, Astros