On Aug. 23, Trout was the presumptive MVP who led Cabrera by 19 points in batting average and 35 points in OPS. Both played on teams on the outside of a playoff spot: the Angels were 2 ½ games out of the wild card and the Tigers were 1 ½ games out of the AL Central lead.
Here's what happened after that:
Trout:.269/.369/.455 (.824 OPS), 6 HRs, 11 RBIs
Cabrera: .343/.394/.686 (1.080 OPS), 13 HRs, 34 RBIs
The Angels missed the playoffs while the Tigers won the AL Central.
That's not close. Trout had no April to speak of -- spending all but three games of it in the minors -- and now he also had far less value from the pennant race than Cabrera to put on his side of the scale.
He does not offer an opinion if we need to monitor Trout next year to make sure his throws in from the outfield do not increase too much from this year's total.