It’s 36 games into the year, and the LA Angels are a disappointing 16-20.
Mike Trout has about as loaded of a resume as it gets for a 29-year-old. He’s missing one piece, though: Playoff success.
Mike Trout has only been to the postseason once in his career. It’s by no means his fault, but it’s a piece of seemingly every all-time great’s CV. Trout doesn’t have that yet.
There have been an incredibly high amount of MLB players who haven’t been on the most winning franchises. Guys like Ernie Banks and Felix Hernandez have had incredible careers without making the postseason ever. Neither of them, though, had the potential to walk away from the game known as the greatest player to ever live.
Trout does, and he’s not getting that chance to prove himself in October.
In Trout’s lone chance in October, he was an ugly 1 for 12. He was young, though, and there’s no way Trout would struggle like that in October if he had chances to be there regularly.
He’s improved so much as a player since then, and again, 12 at-bats is such a small sample size.
36 games in is still somewhat early, but the team looks rather lifeless. Trout’s hitting an incredible .355 with eight homers, along with an unheard of .477 on-base percentage, an astonishing .637 slugging percentage, and an unbelievable OPS of 1.150.
All of the above are career highs (except for home runs, of course), but the support around Trout has been rather minimal.
The Angels’ pitching staff has contributed the worst ERA in the MLB at 5.23, and the Angels’ defense has contributed the worst fielding percentage in the MLB at .974. They lead the league with 33 errors as well.
Plenty could turn around; it isn’t even June yet. However, the team is 16-20 now with two tough series coming up with Boston and Cleveland. Not to mention they’re last in the division, with two teams in the A’s and Astros in that division that look good up to this point. They’ll be playing those two clubs often as the season progresses.
Things haven’t improved much under second-year Manager Joe Maddon. Even last year when the 29-31 Houston Astros made the playoffs, the Angels still couldn’t punch Trout a ticket to paradise.
Trout is one of just eight players to have an OPS over 1.000 in his career. At 310 home runs in just his 11th year playing, there are going to be many benchmarks he will be hitting along the way. The three-time AL MVP still has strong defense, and has won the last three Silver Slugger awards, and eight of the last nine.
He just needs his chance to show what he can do at the biggest stage, and as of right now, it appears that this team will rob him of that for a seventh straight year.
If the Angels want to make the postseason, the turnaround needs to begin now, before it’s too late.