Does Mike Trout Lack the Clutch Gene?
Mike Trout has been the consensus best player in baseball for around five years now. While that is still the popular vote, there is one thing that has been lacking from Trout’s game throughout his career.
Experts will point out that Mike Trout has only been able to lead the Angels to the playoffs once. While that is a fair point in an argument against Trout’s #1 status, it is easily dismissed when observing the team’s around him.
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With so much money invested in aging players (the Halos are STILL paying Josh Hamilton), it has been tough for them to field a team around Trout that can win games.
However, there is one aspect of Trout’s game that needs to be talked about: his ability to come through in the clutch. Last night, Mike Trout walked up in the ninth inning as the tying run in a 3-0 game against the Astros. With no outs, Trout promptly grounded into a double play. The Angels then fell another game back of the Twins in the Wild Card race.
Speaking of the Wild Card race, Trout has not been himself throughout it. Trout is hitting .238 over the past month. He has scored 21 times in the 24 games he has played, but only driven in six. Greatness is expected of Mike Trout, and he has not be achieving the level of play Halo fans and the baseball world expects of him.
Trout has had 43 plate appearances, with two outs and runners in scoring position this season. Of the appearances, he has taken 20 walks (five intentional). He has twelve RBI’s in those situations and a .259 batting average. Trout is good at keeping the inning alive, but fails to produce himself. With a lackluster lineup around him, Trout could stand to be more aggressive at the plate in high leverage at-bats.
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When the Halos went to the postseason in 2014, Trout may as well have just stayed home. While the Halos got swept by a magical Kansas City Royals team, Trout went 1-12 with a solo home run. He walked three times and got caught stealing. While it is a small sample size, Trout’s postseason resume is lackluster.
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Mike Trout is the best talent in the MLB. He embodies the definition of a five-tool ballplayer. However, if he continues to dissapoint in the playoffs and clutch situations, his “Best Player” title may start slipping from him. And if he can never lead a deep playoff run,