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LA Angels: Breaking down the best start of Mike Trout’s career

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

It’s hard to believe he can get any better, but right now Mike Trout is off to a monster start to begin his 2021 campaign, the best in his career as a matter of fact.

These days there is so much data used to analyze baseball players. Some prefer traditional statistics while others like the advanced analytical data. Regardless of whatever you use to assess Trout this season, he ranks towards the top of the majors towards nearly every category and he’s posted career bests in a month with a minimum of 50 plate appearances.

We’ll start with the classic statical categories. Through 19 games this season, here’s how Trout ranks with the rest of Major League Baseball.

Mike Trout 2021 Offensive Ranks:

  • Batting Average: (.426) 2nd-MLB (Career Best-Min 50 PA)
  • OBP: (.539) 1st-MLB (Career Best-Min 50 PA)
  • SLG: (.820) 1st-MLB (3rd Best-Min 50 PA)
  • OPS: (1.329) 1st-MLB (Career Best-Min 50 PA)

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Those numbers alone speak for the greatness of Trout’s start 2021 season but in case you’re somehow not convinced, we can take a deeper dive into the advanced metrics.

Trout, 29, currently has MLB’s highest WAR (1.8) and the highest Weighted Runs Created Plus (274 wRC+ ). The latter is a stat that takes runs created and adjusts that number for external factors like ballpark or ERA. The league average is 100, so right now Trout is considered 174 percent better than the average player. The next highest is Red Sox outfielder JD Martinez (231 wRC+). Right now Trout’s 274 wRC+ is the highest he’s ever had in the month of April.

Angels: Mike Trout is only getting better with age.

Trout also ranks first in the majors and has a career high in Weighted On-base Average (.558 wOBA), which is a version of OBP that accounts for how a player reached base by determining how much that event is worth in relation to projected runs scored. Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr holds MLB’s second-highest wOBA (.506).

If there’s an area of Trout’s game that’s showed flaws it’s been his high strikeout rate this season. His 26.3 strikeout percentage is the currently the highest of his 11 MLB seasons and just above his career average (21.4 K%). I think it’s hardly a concern given the numbers he’s been putting up.

He’s still drawing walks at a healthy rate (14 BB in 81 PA), and he’s consistently squaring the ball up.

Mike Trout MLB Statcast Rankings:

  • Avg Exit Velocity: (94.2 MPH) 6th-MLB
  • Hard-Hit % (55.8%) 5th-MLB
  • Sweet-Spot % (48.8%) 5th-MLB
  • Barrels/BBE % (24.4%) 3rd-MLB

He’s already in the all-time MLB Top-40 WAR leaderboard (77.5) and by the end of the season he’ll join the Top-3 all-time WAR list for players under 30 years old.

The only thing that has stopped Trout this season was a fastball to his elbow that kept him out for three games. Even then he returned with a modest 4-for-5 performance in his first game back.

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The next step for the Angels is to get Trout back to the postseason. As one of baseball’s all-time players, he deserves for his talents to be on display in October for the rest of the world to witness his greatness.

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