The Rays are no strangers when it comes to attempting advanced analytical approaches. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash reached deep into his bag of tricks on Tuesday night versus the Angels when he deployed a four-man outfield against Mike Trout.
As it turns out, the plan was short-lived, as Trout deposited a ball 383 feet into the left-field bleachers.
With a four-run lead and no runners on, I guess you can’t fault Cash and the Rays from trying to limit Trout. It’s rare to stop him, so maybe the best practice is to contain him by throwing as many fielders in the outfield as you can.
Angels: It’s hard to stop Mike Trout, even when using four outfielders.
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In 85 at-bats, Trout leads the majors in batting average (.412), on-base percentage (.519), and he’s second in slugging percentage (.788) just behind Twins outfielder Byron Buxton (.819). Trout’s 1.307 OPS is MLB’s best as well.
The home run gives Trout eight on the season (7th-MLB) and 17 RBI. Last month was the best start of Trout’s career and it doesn’t appear he’s slowing down any time soon.
The 29-year-old leads the majors in WAR (2.3) and he also has the highest wRC+ (252). He’s already in the Top-40 for MLB’s all-time WAR list and he’ll more than likely surpass Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez in the Top-3 all-time for players under 30 years old before the season ends.
He’s great, there’s no denying that and all the traditional statistics and advanced metrics back it up. The next step of course is to get Trout into the postseason for the first time since 2014. It’d be a shame if he doesn’t get the opportunity and would mean the world missing out on witnessing his freakish talents on baseball’s biggest stage.
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The Angels are currently 13-14 and four games back of first place in the AL West. While their offense, led by Trout, has been among the best in the majors, the team’s starting pitching and defense has held them back this season.
It’s an area that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, otherwise it’ll be another wasted year of Trout’s excellence.