Of all of the articles I’ve ever written about the LA Angels, naming Mike Trout as the center fielder for the All-Decade team was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.
Obviously the LA Angels center fielder of the decade is Mike Trout. Their player of the decade is Mike Trout. If the MLB had an all-decade team, you could bet your life savings Mike Trout would be not just the center fielder on that team, but the MVP of the 2010’s for the entire league.
There is not a single player in the entire MLB who meant more for the sport of baseball this decade. No player won more MVP awards, amassed more WAR, or made more highlight plays than Mike Trout did this decade.
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On top of his importance to the MLB as a whole, it’s genuinely difficult to put Mike Trout’s significance to the LA Angels and their fans into words.
If not for Mike Trout, the Angels wouldn’t have been… anything this decade. They spent most of the decade as a middle of the pack team. Without Mike Trout, it would have been even more dreadful of a decade.
While they only made one playoff appearance, Trout brought more attention to Anaheim than anything or anyone had since 2002. Watching him quickly ascend to become the best player in baseball was a ride. Watching him somehow continue to improve every season has been even more intriguing. Without his consistent greatness, seasons in Anaheim would have dragged on much slower.
Another great narrative has been Trout’s ability to stay at the top of the MLB hierarchy. Year after year, it seemed like media and fans wanted to crown someone else as the best. Bryce Harper, Cody Bellinger, Jose Ramirez, Mookie Betts, and Aaron Judge were some of the more notable “challengers” of the decade. Nevertheless, Trout remains among the top.
While no one legitimately challenged Trout as the best in the world, Trout ushered in a new era of baseball. The new generation has taken over the league with Trout as its leader, and there has never been a more talented group of young players in the MLB as there is now.
The game is changing for the better, year after year. It started in 2012 when Mike Trout made it to The Show for good, and is now being led by the Millville Meteor, as it will be for years to come.