Look, I get it. Mike Trout happens to play for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2014 and hasn't even finished with a winning record since 2015. The Los Angeles Angels just lost Shohei Ohtani, and continue to have their struggles.
Trout also has had his own injury woes. He's played in 100 games just once in the last three full seasons. With all of those missed games, it's easy to forget just how dominant he is. Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report seems to have done that by omitting him entirely from MLB's Top 25 Power Hitters List. Yes, he does have Trout listed as one of the 25 honorable mentions, but that's not good enough.
Despite injuries, Mike Trout is still one of the best power hitters in MLB
To start out, let's point out that this list wasn't just Reuter picking names. He used statistics to back it up. My issue is with the stats he chose to make this list. Players got points for Average Exit Velocity, Hard Hit Percentage, Expected Slugging, and 2023 home runs. The first three can be seen on baseball savant with the latter on any stats page.
Trout ranked in the 89th percentile in EV, the 95th percentile in hard-hit percentage, and the 92nd percentile in xSLG. Does that sound like honorable mention to you? The problem with this list is he's using expected stats and the actual home run totals. It doesn't take into account any sort of missed time.
Trout hit 18 home runs this past season and played in 82 games. I'm no mathematician, but that puts him at a 35-36 home run pace had he stayed healthy. This came after he hit 40 home runs in just 119 games in 2022 and had hit at least 25 in each of his full seasons.
Everyone they had ranked ahead of Trout on the list with one exception, Nelson Velazquez, had more than 18 home runs in 2023. Only two others on the honorable mentions list who ranked below Trout had fewer than 18 home runs. Trout was better in all three of the expected stats than players like Brent Rooker, Spencer Torkelson, Jake Burger, and Max Muncy, yet they found their way onto the top-25 because they hit between 30 and 36 home runs respectedly. Exactly where Trout was pace-wise.
Trout being penalized for getting injured when he's still very clearly one of the best power hitters in the game isn't a great look. Bryce Harper is another player who is clearly among the elite power bats yet found his way onto the honorable mentions list.