Sadly, the fate of those players is likely tied into the outcome for their team; if their team charges into the playoffs then they’ll likely win the award.
Most valuable player is a hard one to rate, but a stat that’s quickly emerging as a similar comp is Wins Above Replacement or WAR. You may have heard of it. What does it mean and why is it important?
WAR is a statistical summary of how many runs a player creates AND how many runs they save as compared to a minor-league call-up or replacement level player.
It used to be that we judged a player’s abilities by their year-end totals for RBIs, home runs, average, and a basic memory of their defences highlights. Today baseball website like fangraphs and baseball reference assign personnel to rate every play, every catch, every throw. The resulting measurements give a more holistic view of a player.
For instance, when we compare Trout to Donaldson we see this:
Right now Josh has been more valuable to his team because of his defence (superb) and slightly better baserunning (BsR means base-running runs). Overall for offence it’s close, but Mike Trout has performed better mostly because of his ability to get walks (I say get walks instead of take walks because I think it’d be silly to walk JD with so many great hitters in the lineup whereas the Angels have a piss poor lineup).