Expectations for Mike Trout in 2023

Oct 3, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) prepares to
Oct 3, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) prepares to / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels future Hall of Famer Mike Trout enjoyed his best power season as a major leaguer in 2022 which is crazy to say. He hit 40 home runs in just 119 games which put him on a 54-home run pace. Had Aaron Judge not broken the AL record for home runs in a single season, Trout's power surge would've gotten more attention than it did.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout should have another MVP-caliber year if he can stay healthy.

The issue for Trout for a number of years now has been his health. His 119 games played were the most he's played in a season since 2019 when he played 134. He hasn't appeared in more than 140 games since 2016 when he won his second MVP award.

At age 31 with back issues, I'd expect Trout to have at least one stint on the IL. The Angels just have to hope it's not prolonged. They're deeper than they have been but no team can withstand a long-term injury to a player of Mike Trout's caliber.

If Mike Trout can actually stay on the field, the Angels might actually do what this team is built to do. Get back to the postseason.

Despite missing 43 games and not having enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, Trout's season was simply absurd. He slashed .283/.369/.630 with 40 home runs and 80 RBI. He had a 176 WRC+ and was worth 6 fWAR.

The WRC+ would've been fourth in all of baseball if he had enough plate appearances to qualify and it was just one point shy of NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt's mark.

His fWAR would've been 16th among position players despite everyone ahead of him playing in at least 135 games. He had a higher fWAR than players like Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Tucker, Rafael Devers, and Austin Riley. His season was once again, absurd.

The key to Trout's and the Angels season is keeping him on the field. A way to do this is to give him a day off every couple of weeks. New signee Brett Phillips should never play every day but he won't cost the Angels a game playing center field every couple of weeks. Keeping Trout off his feet for a day game after a night game can go a long way.

At age 31 I don't expect to see regression like Steamer does. If he can stay on the field I expect him to be just as productive as he's been his entire career. Expect another 40+ home runs while he gets on base at a .360+ clip with solid defense in center field. He remains the best center fielder in the game and will be right in the thick of the MVP conversation, again, if he can stay on the field.

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