Mike Trout didn't just run away from the rest of the American League in winning his second Most Valuable Player award on Thursday night.
He left conventional wisdom in the dust, too.
Trout, the Los Angeles Angels centerfielder and 2009 graduate of Millville High School, seemed as surprised as anybody when he learned of the honor in an announcement on MLB Network.
"I'm speechless, man," Trout said moments later in an interview from his parents' home in Cumberland County.
Trout seemed to agree with many baseball experts that he was a long shot to win the MVP after the Angels finished far out of the playoff race, with a 78-84 record good for fourth place in the AL West.
In a conference call with reporters about an hour later, Trout used the word surreal three times and said he was "really surprised" to win the award.
"You hear all the talk," Trout said. "I was asked about it so many times, 'With the team struggling, what does that do to your MVP chances?' "
Trout became the first player in either league to win the MVP while playing for a team with a losing record since the Texas Rangers' Alex Rodriguez captured the award in 2003.
In a vote of 30 members of the Baseball Writers of America, Trout collected 19 first-place votes and 356 points to outdistance the two other finalists, Boston Red Sox rightfielder Mookie Betts and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
Betts received nine first-place votes and finished with 311 points.
Trout, 25, has finished first or second in the MVP voting in each of his first five full major-league seasons. He is the first player to finish that high in the balloting five years in a row since Barry Bonds from 1996 to 2000.
Trout led the American League in runs (123), on-base-percentage (.441), and walks (116). He batted .315 with 29 home runs, 100 RBIs, 30 steals, and an OPS (on-base-plus-slugging-average) of .991.
In the analytical category of wins above replacement, Trout led baseball with a mark of 10.6. That means he was worth 10.6 wins more than an average centerfielder.
Trout said he thought that this season was his "biggest one" and that he "put everything together."
He seemed genuinely overcome with emotion when he learned of his award. "It humbles you," Trout said on the conference call. "It's an unbelievable honor. Just to be in the conversation, it's surreal.
"It was just a little bit ago I was just a little high school player."
Millville coach Roy Hallenbeck, who coached Trout in high school, was struck by his former star's emotional reaction.
"He's not a guy who shows a lot of emotion," Hallenbeck said. "But he looked like a guy who was surprised, really surprised. You could see how much it meant to him."
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs was named National League MVP. The third baseman hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs.