LA Angels: Why Mike Trout is still the best player in baseball
By Alfonso Cerna
Any questions as to whether or not Angels center fielder Mike Trout is still the best player in baseball have been answered during his plate appearances through the first five games of the season. The three-time MVP launched his first home run of the season in Monday’s 7-6 win over the Astros, and it was a no doubter.
In 23 PA’s, Trout has gone 6-for-15 with one home run and three RBI while slashing .400/.609/.667 this season. The 29-year-old also leads all MLB players with eight walks, which is just as many as the entire Brewers (8) roster and more than the Braves (5).
Angels: Mike Trout is proving he is still the best in baseball.
On Sunday night, Trout swung at a 3-0 pitch outside of the strike zone for the first time since May 7, 2016. That sole reason is not why Trout is still baseball’s best, but it shows how much of a different level he’s been on compared to the rest of the league.
Trout is coming off a ‘bad’ season in 2020. Of course those are by his standards because most players around the league would have killed to produce the way he did last summer.
Mike Trout Last Five Seasons:
- 2016 (159 games): (.315/.441/.550) 29 HR 100 RBI
- 2017 (114 games): (.306/.442/.629) 33 HR 72 RBI
- 2018 (140 games): (.312/.460/.628) 39 HR 79 RBI
- 2019 (134 games): (.291/.438/.645) 45 HR 104 RBI
- 2020 (53 games): (.281/.390/.603) 17 HR 46 RBI
I’ve heard talk about young players like Fernando Tatis Jr surpassing Trout as MLB’s best. While there’s no doubt Tatis Jr is as exciting as they come, he still has a long way to go to put up the consistent productivity Trout has in his 11-year career.
I think people like to debate another player surpassing Trout due to his statistical dominance becoming a normal thing. It’s expected at this point, so people are not as surprised as they are when a new and exciting face comes around.
It also has something to do with Trout’s marketing and the lack of winning in Anaheim during the past few seasons. A recently released list of the top-20 most popular jerseys had Trout as the tenth-most popular player.
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That’s surprising, but again, I think it goes back to a combination of a lack of marketing and the Angels missing the playoffs for the last six seasons. I think the more Trout continues to deliver as he has to start this season and as the Halos continue their pace for 90-plus wins, expect Trout to rise to the top of that jersey list.
It’ll be an extra reminder to the rest of the league who the best player in baseball is.