Mike Trout has set the bar so high in his first five seasons in the majors finishing each of the season as either first or second in the AL MVP race. In 2017 Trout dropped down to fourth place in the voting.
So with Mike Trout having less than an MVP season the question comes: Will Mike Trout bounce back in 2018? First of all, Mike Trout’s “down” season was due in large part to a torn ligament in his thumb that he suffered in late May. However, despite missing nearly seven weeks Trout still put up very good numbers.
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Trout hit .306 with 33 homers and drove in 72 runs (career low), and scoring a career-low 92 runs. Trout however still stole 22 bases and had a career-high on-base-percentage of .442 with 94 walks and 90 strikeouts. He also had a career-high .629 slugging percentage and an OPS of1.071.
So why have some people said Trout had a down year in 2017? The culprit beside RBI numbers may have been a sub-par September when the Angels needed Trout to keep them in the wild-card race and the Kid-Fish did not deliver as he usually does.
In that fateful final month that saw the Angels start just 1.5 games out of the 2nd wild-card spot with a 69-65 record, but finish the month 10-17 five games out of the playoffs. Trout hit only .231 in September with six homers and 11 RBIs. Trout’s OBP dropped .475 in August to .383 in September and a season-low month of .888 OPS.
However, I argue, if it hadn’t been for Trout’s hot August that saw him hit .315 with eight homers and 16 RBIs with a 1.105 OPS that helped the Angels go 18-10 in the month to get back into the wild-card race. Trout may have not had a strong finish to the 2017 season, but as a whole he still had a strong season.
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In 2018 with all the new weapons around Trout, like Justin Upton, Zack Cozart, Ian Kinsler, and Shohei Ohtani added to the line-up, he will have a lot of protection around him.
So I expect Trout to have another strong season in 2018 and maybe he may be able the Angels to the playoffs with help from his new friends and take home his third MVP award.
For the Angels that’s what general manager Billy Eppler envisioned when he made all the moves over the past month. Trout will be the least of the Angels worries this season, because they know that he will be there in the MVP talk as long as he is healthy. So don’t fret Angel fans the Kid Fish will again be the best player in baseball and maybe, just maybe, he will get some new hardware like a World Series Ring.