Trout, Harper Keeping Great Company

Trout, Harper Keeping Great Company

First, a little history. The thing that makes the Rookie of the Year fundamentally different from the other awards, I think, is that, like wine* and REM albums, there are good years and bad. 

*So I’m told. I don’t know wine.

This is somewhat true of other awards, of course. But only somewhat true. There is always a league MVP ... and year-to-year, decade after decade, the MVPs’ production will be fairly comparable. Oh, sure, there will be outliers on both sides, like a Barry Bonds in 2001 or a Dennis Eckersley in 1992 (huh?). But in general, the award winners all fit into a fairly small array. And over the years, the MVP numbers can look awfully similar.

Examples:

2011: Ryan Braun: .319, 41 homers, 112 RBIs, 108 runs
2006: Justin Morneau, .321, 34 homers, 130 RBIs, 97 runs
1993: Frank Thomas, .317, 41 homers, 128 RBIs, 106 runs
1985: Don Mattingly, .324, 35 homers, 145 RBIs, 107 runs
1972: Dick Allen, .308, 37 homers, 113 RBIs, 90 runs
1962: Mickey Mantle, .321, 30 homers, 89 RBIs, 96 runs
1957: Hank Aaron, .322, 44 homers, 132 RBIs, 118 runs

And so on.

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