Handing out the first-half awards

Finally. After two years of debating Trout versus Miggy, new school versus old school, WAR versus the Triple Crown, the PDT versus the EDT, etc., etc., #pleasemakeitstop, we have arrived at this point in baseball time. The best player alive is, without any real debate necessary, the half-year MVP. What a concept. Even in a year when he absorbed -- then climbed out of -- the worst slump of his career, our man Mike Trout leads the American League in OPS, adjusted OPS, runs created, extra-base hits, most times reaching base and, of course, WAR. He's going to be the only player in baseball with at least 20 homers and double-figure steals at the break. He's threatening to become the seventh man in history to have a .300/.400/.600/40 HR/20 SB season. Baseball-reference.com's offensive winning percentage stat tells us that a team of nine Mike Trouts would go 131-31 over a full season. And ... aw, you get the idea. He's doing what Mike Trout does -- and he's done it in a season in which his team has the second-best record in baseball and the second-best run differential. And how 'bout this: If he does go on to win this MVP award, he'll be by far the youngest player ever to register three straight top-two MVP finishes -- and just the third AL position player ever to do it (joining only Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle). "He's one of the best baseball players that I've seen in my playing career and coaching career," said Angels interim hitting coach Dave Hansen. "I'd just like to have his power, play the field like he does and run that fast -- just once." OK, that's another wish I can't grant. But first-half MVP? I can gladly grant that one.

Apologies to: Jose Bautista, Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Altuve.

NL Least Valuable Player (LVP): Domonic Brown, Phillies

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