LA Angels News

LA Angels Series Preview: Trout and Bellinger go head to head

By Ryan Falla
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 30: Brian Goodwin #18 is greeted at the dugout by Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 30, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 30: Brian Goodwin #18 is greeted at the dugout by Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 30, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Trout vs Bellinger is not a thing

I don’t even want to get into this because this conversation has been run into the ground since the middle of April. Every talking point on his has been exhausted; Bellinger has the most ridiculous .355/.449/.693 slash with 20 HRs and 54 RBIs across 272 PA’s, Trout has struggled through a chunk of the season and has still put up a .293/.469/.626 slash with 17 HRs and 42 RBIs in 277 PA’s.

Bellinger was 2017s Rookie of the Year with 39 HR’s clubbed off a .267/.352/.581 slash line, yet 2018 saw him struggle to replicate that power success as he saw his power drop as he hit 260/.343/.470 with 25 HRs and 76 RBIs in 632 PA’s. Trout on the other hand has posted an OPS over 900 every year starting with his Rookie of the Year season with his best OPS over a full season being his 2018 1.088 OPS.

Trout’s lowest OPS was in 2014 when his clip sat at .939.

If Mike Trout’s career ended today he would still have enough accolades to earn himself a Hall of Fame ballot and he’s just 9 seasons into his career at the age of 27. Bellinger on the other hand, despite having the season of a lifetime, hasn’t shown an ability to recreate this level success on a year by year basis. That’s not a knock on Bellinger, he’s just barely in his third season and is only at 23 years of age.

Bellinger still has quite a career ahead of him and the idea that he will only get better as he matures is a very real expectation to have, but that shouldn’t give reason to ignore the fact that Bellinger is overachieving beyond what he’s shown capable of so far in his career. That is not to say that this isn’t a part of his natural growth, only that he’ll have to perform as such consistently for more than 63 games before it is seen as concrete, irreversible evolution and not just over achievment.

There’s no point in drawing this debate/discussion out because that requires us to live in a future that does not exist. Right now Bellinger is having a season for the ages that is very much worth enjoying no matter which team you’re a fan of. That doesn’t need to be pumped up with unnecessary  “Bellinger is better than Trout!” hyperbole.

Bellinger will likely put on a spectacle against Angels pitching, but if Trout manages just as good a series, if not better than Bellinger, all while leading the Angels to a two-game sweep, the tears of Dodger fans will be so sweet to taste.


Next. Ohtani vs. Kikuchi the inside story

It would easily be the sweetest moment of a lacking season so far.

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