Mike Trout Is The Face Of Baseball


Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

Before the beginning of the 2014 season, Derek Jeter announced his retirement from the game of baseball. After 20 years of success, and being an example to millions of kids in playing the game the right way, it was time for him to call it a career. Jeter’s transition to retirement leaves a bigger void than just him at shortstop for the Yankees, it leaves a void for baseball. Serving as essentially the captain of the MLB during trying times of the steroid era when it seemed like no player could be trusted, Jeter was there and was the example of hope. Off the field concerns? Yea right, even in the media capital of the world, New York, there was still no blemish on Jeter’s name. The impact he had on the game was so important that finding his replacement won’t be a quick process.

This era looks promising, with young players such as: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Andrew McCutchen serving as examples of what the game needs. All things considered, it is most likely between these three to serve as the face of baseball and be the next guy for millions of Little Leaguers to emulate. Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen both could have substantial arguments made for them to replace Jeter, but the answer is Mike Trout.

On the field, Mike Trout is the most talented player in the game. After three full seasons in the league, and five seasons total counting this yea, Trout has comparable stats to Mickey Mantle. High praise, yes, but the numbers aren’t far off. Comparing both players in their first three seasons:

Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Through 2014

MVP- Trout 1, Mantle 0

All Star Games- Trout 3, Mantle 3

Batting Average- Trout .305, Mantle .303

Games- Trout 493, Mantle 503

Hits- Trout 572, Mantle 561

Runs- Trout 373, Mantle 389

Home Runs- Trout 98, Mantle 84

OBP- Trout .395, Mantle .400

Slugging %Trout .549, Mantle .517

Obviously Trout still has a long way to go in justifying the career comparison, but there’s no denying the similarity of potential greatness. Outside of numbers, Trout has the same type of game that delivers a must watch feeling towards fans. Throughout Jeter’s career it was filled with jaw-dropping instinctual plays that looked like it just came naturally to him, whether it was the “flip play” in Oakland or the patented jump throw, Jeter had the knack. Trout is very comparable in that sense, robbing home runs and running down balls that the average player has no right attempting.

Even more so, Trout is only 23 years old and seemingly has at least another decade of playing at a superstar level. He is the most ready player right now to become the face of baseball. The only thing holding Trout back is winning. If he wants to be that guy there is no doubt how important winning and playoff success will play as a role. On the field and off the field, Trout has all of the tools that can replace Jeter and in some ways he has already done so. But the paramount aspect is going to be winning, and a lot of that has to do with the Angels front office. If the front office can get away from high priced, older free agents, and incorporate talented youth, then all of the ingredients will be there to sustain long term success with both Trout and the Angels.