When Mike Trout slid into second base in late May and tore a ligament in his thumb, some thought that it prevented a potentially historic season from happening. However, Trout is proving that six weeks on the DL is not going to prevent him from getting the MVP.
Despite the fact that Trout has only played in 82 games, he still has 26 home runs and 60 RBIs. He also has a 5.6 WAR that ranks third in the American League behind Jose Altuve and Andrelton Simmons. Even the rookie sensation, Aaron Judge, falls behind Trout in WAR.
When it was all said and done, Trout only missed 39 games for the Angels. In that time, the Angles went a mediocre 19-20.
Since returning, the Angels are 19-15 and are second in the AL Wild Card race. All together, the Angels are 46-42 when Trout plays.
It is not a staggering difference, but it is enough to see that Trout gives the Angels the edge they need to sneak into the playoffs.
How Trout stacks up with other contenders
Trout is currently slugging at an all time high for his career. His .670 slugging percentage is the best in his career and is 78 points ahead of the next top percentage.
Trout just does not have enough plate appearances to actually qualify for that title at the moment though. His ability to hit for power is a good sign for the future though, because he does appear to be getting better.
There are several players that are in consideration for the MVP award this year. Aaron Judge was a name many people thought had a shot at winning the coveted award. His recent struggles may get in his way though. He has a lower WAR than Trout and over 100 more plate appearances. If Trout wasn’t hurt, he could have similar home run numbers that Judge has.
The biggest obstacle in front of Trout in the MVP race is Jose Altuve. Altuve is putting up astonishing numbers with a .358/.418/.565 slash line along with a 7.0 WAR. If I were a gambling man, I would say Altuve almost has the MVP on lock down.
However, Trout could still make a run at the Astros’ second baseman. He has the second best batting average behind Altuve, but does not qualify yet. Trout may be able to catch Altuve if he keeps playing at the rate he does and pushes his power numbers up even more. It also may help if Trout is able to help his team get into the playoffs for the first time in his career.
Is the MVP in reach?
The fact that this can be a topic of discussion is impressive in itself. However, once we bring reality into this, the answer is most likely no. If it was not for Jose Altuve’s stellar season then it would be much more plausible for Trout to snatch the MVP for the third time in his young but illustrious career.
There are some things that can still happen for the award to fall into Trout’s hands. It would be a series of events though. Altuve would have to miss time, and Trout would have to go on a tear in September. It isn’t out of the question, but Altuve has not once spent time on the DL since coming up to the big leagues.
It is important to keep in mind that his performance since coming back from his injury is something to behold. The future is very bright for this young stud and it is sad to see him slowing down.
One stat that is easy to look at and helps determine if a player has longevity is the strikeout per nine innings stat. Trout has been striking out less and has shown that he has one of the better eyes in the game.
Even though he may not get the MVP this season, he should be a favorite for the coming years.
Featured Image from Huffington Post
To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon