10/16/12 5:50 PM ET
Trout tabbed as top rookie, player by Baseball America
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
The honor comes on the heels of one of the most impressive individual campaigns in baseball history, one that has made the 21-year-old Trout a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year Award and a prime candidate to be the youngest Most Valuable Player in Major League history.
On offense, Trout finished second in the AL in batting average (.326), first in steals (49) and runs (129), third in on-base percentage (.399) and third in slugging percentage (.564). Despite not being promoted to the big leagues until April 28, he became the first player ever to combine at least 45 steals with 125 runs and 30 homers in one season.
On defense, he robbed four home runs -- only three others have done that since 2004 -- and ranked fifth in the Majors with 23 runs saved.
And, overall, only three other players -- Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle -- have notched a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) higher than Trout's 10.7 at age 25 or younger. After he came up, the Angels had the third-best record in the AL at 83-59.
Last year, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who finished second to the Brewers' Ryan Braun in National League MVP voting, was Baseball America's Player of the Year. Jeremy Hellickson of the Rays was the publication's Rookie of the Year.
Trout is the first Angels player to win either of the two Baseball America awards. The only player to claim both through his career was Albert Pujols, who was named Rookie of the Year in 2001 and Player of the Year in '05. The Rookie of the Year has been handed out annually by Baseball America since 1989; the Player of the Year began in '98.
Trout won AL Rookie of the Month honors in May, June, July and August, making him the first player to claim the award in four straight months, and is basically guaranteed to win the AL Rookie of the Year on Nov. 12. The question is whether he can beat out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to take home the AL MVP.
That won't be known until Nov. 15.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.