After the best rookie campaign in recent memory, Angels center fielder Mike Trout should be cleaning up this awards season. Debuting in July of 2011, Trout showed glimpses of his elite talents and skills. But the 21-year-old from New Jersey took the league by storm in 2012, and has been named a finalist for both the American League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards.
Trout should have no trouble collecting the latter trophy, though A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Rangers' pitcher Yu Darvish had great seasons for their clubs. The stiffer competition for the rookie comes in the MVP race: Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Whatever your feelings on RBI and batting average as relevant statistics are, Mike Trout's numbers may have outdone Cabrera's landmark season.
Trout hit 30 home runs and led Major League Baseball with 49 steals and 129 runs. The center fielder's OPS of .963 was good for third in the majors. Though his offensive numbers alone should get him recognition, his defensive play has been lauded as well. Playing a tough position, Trout excelled in center field and became notorious for robbing home runs and nabbing balls headed for the gap. With this kind of all-around production, we might expect to hear Trout's name every awards season for the foreseeable future.