Does Mike Trout have another level to push the Angels further in 2020?
It’s hard to ask much more of Mike Trout that the man has already committed to the Los Angeles Angels over the course of his first nine seasons. After all, we’re talking about a man who has is already authoring one of the best decades of all-time. That includes three American League Most Valuable Player awards, three runner-up finishes, a Rookie of the Year trophy, and eight consecutive All-Star appearances.
In other words, Mike Trout is the best player the league has seen in some time, and with 10 years still on his deal, the Angels fully intend to enjoy his ascension for the foreseeable future. Most players see 73.4 fWAR as a career and he’s already 5th all-time in terms of JAWS rating, putting him above the average cut-off line for Hall of Fame induction for center fielders.
But how much more can Trout dial it up?
Trout has already done his heavy lifting heading into his age-28 season. He’s only authored one season below 8.0 in fWAR and that came in an injury-shortened season in 2017 and his wRC+ of 180 last season was the second-highest of his career.
Most players don’t even hit their primes until age 27, but there may still be some growth left on the horizon. Keep in mind that the damage that Trout did the last three seasons came with an aging Albert Pujols behind him in the order. Now with Anthony Rendon entering that coveted slot of the order, Trout will likely see more to hit in 2020 and beyond. Barring injury, that bodes well for his quest to write his name in the record books and eventually to Cooperstown.
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That’s a scary proposition for the rest of Major League Baseball, but it remains an exciting outlook for the Los Angeles Angels and their fans. If the team can find answers to the questions in the rotation, they may still yet take advantage of the best years in Mike Trout’s career.