Mike Trout has arguably had the best career ever at age 26. Few players can claim the same awards, statistics, or accolades Trout has before even entering their prime. However, Trout may have the Angels set up for the best playoff run of his career. However, they got to this point courtesy of Trout’s absence.
When Mike Trout tore a ligament in his hand after an awkward slide into second base, no one expected the Angels to rally the way they did. To think the team is one of the favorites in a tight AL Wild Card race is miraculous.
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The Angels are here because they have learned to play as a team. Without Mike Trout, the Angels could no longer on their superstar to carry them. Everyone had to step up, and they did. The team, miraculously, played better without Trout than they had so far that season. They only lost two series in June, and avoided getting swept in his absence.
Many players stepped up, but the most notable reward has been left field. Cameron Maybin had to step into the center field spot while Ben Revere got plenty of playing time as well. Maybin has not been himself since returning from a knee injury, but was one of the Halos best hitters in June. Hitting .284 in the leadoff spot, Maybin score 20 times throughout the month. He also stole 19 bases. While he has been struggling, Maybin has been turning it around the past week, hitting .250 with two walks, two stolen bases, and two runs.
The likes of Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, and Yunel Escobar all stepped up to help fill Mike Trout’s absence as best they can. Calhoun hit .324 with 22 RBI’s while Escobar hit .326 with 9 extra base hits. Simmons continued his breakout season by hitting .294 with eight doubles and three big flies.
Now, with Mike Trout back (and having his best season yet), the team is making a serious push for a Wild Card spot. they are here because they had to learn how to play as a team. Now, they are not just a team, but a team with the best player in baseball. With Mike Trout leading the team, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish.