Over the last decade Baseball fans have been spoiled by outstanding MVP performances and those who come in second. This years AL MVP is different however. Mike Trout has put up unreal numbers in 2012 and 2013 he's automatically going to win this year because Miguel Cabrera isn't having a ridiculous year. But I don't think that means Mike Trout is an MVP this year. I'll explain why and who should win it over him.
Let me start by saying I don't believe pitchers should win MVP in the American League. It's not because pitchers are less valuable than position players. It's because Pedro Martinez did not win it in 1999 or 2000. Why should I penalize others for Pedro not winning MVP? In 1999 Pedro had one of the top ten pitching seasons in the Modern Era, but he came in 2nd to Rangers Catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Then in 2000 he had the greatest pitching season of all time and only came in 5th in the voting's. So I think if you don't top Pedro's numbers as a pitcher, then you should never win MVP. I still believe Justin Verlander winning it was ridiculous.
With that out of the way, let me start with the three candidates that place ahead of Mike Trout in the MVP race. 3rd Place should go to Astros All-Star, Jose Altuve. The 5'5" Second Baseman is putting up ridiculous numbers, that can only be compare to Craig Biggio in Astros history. While Biggio took more walks and hit for more power, Altuve is making up for it by leading baseball in hits, batting average and the AL in stolen bases. Altuve has a .55 point higher in batting average, 44 more hits, 38 more steals, 4 more doubles and a higher on base percentage than Mike Trout. Trout is more powerful and has players around him to hit him home so his runs, RBI and home runs are higher, but that makes them pretty even.
In 2nd Place for MVP is the Rookie for the White Sox, Jose Abreu. The Cuban defector is probably the best right handed hitter in the American League this year. He is 4th in batting average, 3rd in home runs, 2nd in RBIs by 1 to Mike Trout, 5th in OBP, 1st in Slugging with a ridiculous .600 and tied for 1st in OPS. Mike Trout only beats him in one category, RBIs. The reason it's more impressive for Abreu is he has no supporting cast around him. He literally drives in everyone. Mike Trout has Albert Pujols driving others in and other decent players around him. But it's the significant differences in batting average, slugging and OPS that puts him ahead of Trout as well.
And the AL MVP should be Victor Martinez. Martinez is the only player putting up ridiculous numbers. He's a switch hitter who is 2nd in batting average and 1st in OBP. He's hit a career high 30 home runs and he's tied with Jose Abreu in OPS. The most staggering stat is his walks to strikeouts rate. He has 61 walks and only 39 strikeouts. That's unreal in this era. Victor Martinez is an MVP.
As for Mike Trout, my problem is his .284 batting average, .368 OBP, 13 steals and the fact that only Chris Davis has struck out more than him. Mike Trout has 159 strikeouts, that's 4 more that Chris Carter who led baseball last year. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball right now, but he is not the 2014 MVP.