Mike Trout missed out on his chances for a third Most Valuable Player Award in 2017 due to a wrist injury. It’s tempting to think about what could have been. Instead, let’s take a look at what could be in the 2018 season for the game’s best player.
Mike Trout has long carried an otherwise mediocre Angels offense. In 2017, his time injured resulted in him not receiving any recognition during the awards season. It was also the deciding factor in the Angels not making the playoffs, and his presence may have been a big enough difference to overcome the five games they missed the playoffs by.
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Despite playing a career-low 114 games (in years where he played the entire season in the MLB), Trout still slugged 33 home runs and drove in 72 RBI’s while scoring himself 92 times. It is not unreasonable to think he would have put up his best season of his career if he had stayed healthy. Trout posted career high’s in on-base percentage (.442), slugging percentage (.629), and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.071).
In 2018, Mike Trout will have an improved lineup around him. Justin Upton will likely be hitting behind him. The Angels are heavily interested in upgrading the second base position. Whether they grab a free agent such as Zack Cozart or trade for Cesar Hernandez, their new second baseman will likely slot in above Trout in the lineup.
With improvements in front of Trout, his impact will only grow as he’ll be driving in more runs than ever. With Upton, Pujols, and a potential free agent like Mike Moustakas behind him, Trout will be coming around to score more than ever. It will also be tough to intentionally walk him late in games with such dangerous threats behind him.
Mike Trout is still the best player in the MLB. While injuries marred his 2017 season, there is still no talent like him in the league. With impact players around him, Mike Trout is destined to put up his best season yet. He may be also leading the Angels to a playoff berth.