Luckily for baseball fans around the world, the 26-year-old from Millville, New Jersey is not planning on hanging up the cleats anytime soon. However, the two-time AL MVP and six-time All-Star has been so elite that if he were to go buy a farm and ride out into the sunset, he would have a legit Hall of Fame case. Let’s take a quick stroll through the illustrious start to Mike Trout’s career.
With the 25th pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, the Angels, who received this compensation pick from the New York Yankees for their signing of Mark Teixeira, selected “The Millville Meteor.”
Here is a look at Trout’s scouting report on MLB.com.
Hitting ability: Trout is a good looking offensive player who just started switch-hitting, but not in games. He is doing it with wood in BP for scouts. He does need some work with his overall approach.
Power: He should have future average power and has shown some more pop this season.
Running speed: Has plus speed and glides on the bases once he gets going, though he’s also got first-step explosion.
Base running: Runs well and should steal some bases.
Arm strength: As a pitcher, he’s touched 90 mph from the mound, so there’s arm strength there, though it’s been hard to get a read on it from the outfield.
Fielding: Is a good center fielder defensively.
Range: His speed allows him to cover plenty of ground.
Physical description: Trout doesn’t look like your typical center fielder and has more of a college running back or safety type build.
Medical update: Healthy.
Strengths: Speed, athleticism, some ability and upside with the bat.
Weaknesses: Still a bit crude at the plate; some teams may not look at him and see him as an everyday Major League center fielder.
Summary: Trout is a toolsy high school center fielder who was gaining momentum as the weather in the Northeast warmed up. He looks more like a football safety — his position in high school — than a center fielder, but has the tools to play there with plus speed. He just started switch-hitting to enhance his offensive value, and with some changes to his approach at the plate should hit for some power down the line. There is some rawness with the bat, but he has the kind of upside many teams look for in a high school position player, and was moving into first-round conversations as a result.
Let’s look back at Trout’s first year as a full-time starter. After struggling a tad in 40 MLB games during his 2011 campaign, Trout was forced to start 2012 with the Salt Lake Bees of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The Angels pulled up Trout to take over for Bobby Abreu, who was hitting .208 at the time, and the rest is history.
Trout went on to have the highest rookie season WAR (10.8) in the history of baseball. He was the first position player since Barry Bonds in 2004 who had a WAR above 10.0.
Trout hit .326 with 30 home runs, stole 49 bases and led the league with 129 runs. This was all done in just 139 games. He joined Albert Pujols, Hal Trosky and Ted Williams as the only rookies to hit 30 or more home runs with a batting average better than .325. He was the youngest player to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Had Miguel Cabrera not have won the triple crown, Trout would have locked up MVP.
PLAYERS WITH A WAR OF 10.75 OR BETTER IN A SEASON
2013 was more of the same for Trout. After a slow start, hitting just .261 with two home runs in April, Trout finished at .323 with 27 home runs and 33 steals. Again, his 9.3 WAR was highest in baseball. Despite his outstanding season, Miguel Cabrera was named AL MVP for the second year in a row, while Trout was runner-up.
Two MVPs in three seasons
In 2014, Trout finally got over the hump and secured his first AL MVP trophy. He hit .287 with 36 home runs and led the league in runs and RBIs. In the following season, Trout hit .299 with 41 home runs and led the league in slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. Trout has led in OPS+ for the last three seasons.
2016 was MVP season No. 2. Just another .315, 29 home runs, 123 runs and 116 walks. Oh, and last season, despite getting hurt and playing in just 114 games, Trout joined Barry Bonds (1993) as the only players to have a season with at least 33 home runs, 20 steals, slugging percentage of .629 and an OPS+ of 187.
Trout has five seasons of at least 7.9 WAR. That is tied with Wade Boggs, Joe Morgan, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx and Mike Schmidt. His six seasons of oWAR greater than 7 has him tied with Honus Wagner and ahead of Frank Thomas, Wade Boggs and Mel Ott to name a few. Trout is currently tied for eighth all-time in seasons with 10 WAR or better.
He is one of nine players to have multiple seasons of 10.45 WAR or higher. That list includes Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Carl Yastrzemski and Rogers Hornsby. Trout is one of 25 players to win multiple MVPs.
“The Millville Meteor” already has five seasons of 27 doubles, 100 runs, .285 batting average and an OPS above 167. That is the same amount of seasons as Hank Aaron and Tris Speaker and more than Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott, Honus Wagner, Carl Yastrzemski and Frank Robinson. Along the way, he has also picked up two All-Star MVP Awards.
His 55.2 career WAR would rank 82nd out of 173 Hall of Fame position players. If he retired today, Trout would be one of eight players with at least a .305 batting average, .976 OPS, .566 SLG and .410 OBP. That list includes Babe Ruth, Manny Ramirez, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg and Rogers Hornsby.
Here are four tables to exemplify how extraordinary this guy has been.
NUMBER OF SEASONS WITH BA>= .305, HR>= 25, SB>= 22, OPS+>= 168
|PLAYER||NUMBER OF SEASONS|
|ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND NINE OTHERS||1|
NUMBER OF SEASONS WITH HR>=25, BA>=.285, OPS>=.935 and OPS+>=168
|PLAYER||NUMBER OF SEASONS|
NUMBER OF SEASONS WITH HR>=25, SB>= 20, BA>= 300, BB>= 90
|PLAYER||NUMBER OF SEASONS|
|CHIPPER JONES AND EIGHT OTHERS||1|
|PLAYERS WITH AT LEAST A .305 BA, 200 HOME RUNS, 165 STEALS AND .370 OBP|
Would you vote him in?
Featured image by SI.com
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