Here is how the Angels are not wasting Mike Trout’s best years.

Mike Trout has been phenomenal in four years. But the is yet to come. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Trout has been phenomenal in four years. But the is yet to come. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Recently, fellow staff writer here at Halo Hangout, Mitch Quesada wrote an article about how he believes the Angels are wasting superstar centerfielder Mike Trout’s best years. While Mitch wrote a very compelling article with some valid points, he missed quite a few as well. Here is why the Angels are not wasting Trout’s best years.

First and foremost, we have haven’t even hit Trout’s best years yet so how is it that they are being wasted?

As astonishing as that may sound for a guy who has been arguably the best player on the planet the past 4 seasons. He hasn’t hit his peak yet. On average a baseball player hits his peak between ages 27 and 31. Trout is just 24, so really his best years are still very much in front of him. And as former teammate Torii Hunter once said about Trout: ” He doesn’t even have his man strength yet.” So best believe that this guy isn’t close to showing us what he is truly capable of.

Everything the Angels have done up to this point has been to make the major league club better and build around Trout. Have all of those big free agent moves worked out? No, but the moves have been done to win now. Signing Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to such big contracts, has shown to have been a big mistake but why was it done? To make the major league team better and to hopefully provide Trout some protection in the lineup. Signing CJ Wilson was a mistake but it took the division rival Texas Rangers best pitcher at the time from them and put him in the Angels rotation.

The minor league system has been in such disarray for the last few seasons because the talent there has been traded away to make the major league team better. This has all been done to build around the games best player.

While it is true that the Angels have only made the playoffs once in his four seasons, they have been contenders very year. All the way up until game 162 of last season. The Angels were in it until the very end. At the big league level, the Angels are a very good team all the way around.

Former general manager Jerry Dipoto did everything he could to start rebuilding the major league pitching depth and have some minor league pitching waiting in the wings. The Angels started spring training with 8 pitchers who had major league experience. Current GM Billy Eppler, traded away the Angels top two pitching prospects, and aging expiring contract of Erick Aybar for the games premier shortstop and widely considered the leagues best defender at any position in Andrelton Simmons.

In Mitch’s article he argued that Simmons is a “better defensive version of Aybar.” While its true neither man is a offensive juggernaut, Simmons is by far a better defender than Aybar. Simmons, saves more runs every year than any other player. Saving runs can be equated to runs batted in. Simmons is a huge upgrade at short and for the team.

Yunel Escobar, Daniel Nava, Craig Gentry and Cliff Pennington were also added to the team this year at very low salaries. Escobar and Nava have both been exceptional this preseason. Provided that continues into the regular season, the Angels are poised for a terrific run this season. Yes, the Astros are loaded with young talent. Yes, the Rangers are too and get a little bit better with Yu Darvish coming back and the addition of Ian Desmond. But the Angels are better this season than last as well.Trout is looking like is fantastic self again too. There is no reason the Angels can’t and won’t go far this season.

Going beyond this season, the starting pitchers CJ Wilson, Jered Weaver and their 20 million dollar contracts each go off the books. Which sets up for some big free agent splashes the Angels are accustomed to having, in the recent years. Josh Hamilton is being paid until the end of next season. Unfortunately, Pujols’ mega contract will be on the books until 2021, provided he doesn’t retire before then. Trout isn’t a free agent until 2020. Money is coming free when they will need it the most.

The team will continue to build around Trout and also, have the money they’re going to need if they are to sign the baseball phenom to what will likely be a unprecedented contract.  The first 400 million dollar man perhaps?

The question has also been kicked around that maybe the Angels would one day trade Trout because of what he could bring in return. While, Trout would being in a haul of players, can you ever really get value for a player like Trout? I don’t think so.

The Milwaukee Bucks thought they could trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers to rejuvenate their franchise. When was the last time they hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy? 1971 when Kareem was still on the team.

Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees from the Red Sox in 1919 for $150,000. The year before the Red Sox had won the World Series. They wouldn’t win one again until 2004.

Getting rid a once in a generation player is not in your teams best interest because you will never get the return value for them. The Yankees have 28 World Series and the Lakers 16 titles.

I’ll be the first one to say that the Angels have made some questionable decisions in the recent years. However, to say that they are wasting Trout’s best years just isn’t right. Will he walk away from Anaheim eventually? As scary as it is to think about, it may happen but it won’t be because the Angels didn’t do enough to build around him.