Angels' Mike Trout named American League MVP

After two years as runner-up, the Angels' Mike Trout wins his first American League most valuable player award

Best player in baseball? Mike Trout, three years running. He hits for average, hits for power, steals bases, steals home runs from opposing batters, steals the spotlight on a team with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, inspires fans to wear silly fish-shaped hats.

On Thursday, the Angels' dynamic outfielder finally won the trophy that makes his stature official. After two years as runner-up, Trout won his first American League most valuable player award.

Trout, 23, became the youngest unanimous winner of the award and third youngest to win it behind Vida Blue of the Oakland A's and Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles. He's the third Angels player to be selected MVP, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero (2004).

Trout is the first player since Mickey Mantle in 1962 to win the award after two consecutive second-place finishes. Mantle trailed New York Yankees teammate Roger Maris in 1960 and 1961.

Trout finished behind Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers in 2012 and 2013. The Tigers won their division in each of those years -- the Angels did not -- and Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012, when Trout was rookie of the year.

The Angels posted the best record in the major leagues this season. Trout hit a career-high 36 home runs and led the league in runs scored (115) and runs batted in (111). He also led the league in extra-base hits, the first player to lead the AL in runs, RBIs and extra-base hits since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997.

He is the first player ever to hit 75 home runs, steal 75 bases and score 300 runs in his first 400 career games.

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez finished second in the voting, followed by Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times