Mike Trout is primed for a major comeback for LA Angels in 2022

86th MLB All-Star Game
86th MLB All-Star Game / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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Mike Trout
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

Moving on to Steamer, these projections are much more optimistic, possibly even too optimistic, over how Mike Trout will perform for the LA Angels in 2022.

Steamer sees Mike Trout returning to 100% productivity despite his recent injury history.

  • Steamer: 648 PA, .271/.406/.547, 155 wRC+, 37 HR, 25 2B, 103 RBI, 110 BB, 149 K, 6.1 fWAR
  • Career 162 Game AVG: 712 PA, .305/.419/.583, 172 wRC+, 39 HR, 34 2B, 103 RBI, 109 BB, 153 K, 9.8 fWAR

Not only would Mike Trout would be the runaway favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year with these numbers, but he would also be the only real competition for teammate Shohei Ohtani in AL MVP consideration. In fact, Trout is one of only five guys in all of baseball to clear 6 fWAR in Steamer.

Steamer practically has Trout reaching his career norms in every counting stat which is an impressive feat for a guy coming off a season-ending injury ahead of his age 30 season.

Trout’s 37 home runs and 103 RBIs would each be the fourth most in his career, while his 110 walks would be tied for his third best total.

However, 149 strikeouts would also be the third highest mark ever for Trout, so an inflated K rate is something to keep an eye on during the season as he shakes off the rust.

Doubles is the only stat that Steamer has Trout greatly lagging in compared to prior years, with 25 being his lowest ever in a full season.

The same could actually be said for his projected stolen base totals (9 in ZiPS, 7 in Steamer) which I didn’t include above since it's been known for a while now that Trout is likely never again going to be a 40 SB guy, let alone a 20 SB guy, at this stage of his career.

Also, like with ZiPS, Trout’s batting average is much lower than usual here, but unfortunately so is his slugging percentage. At .547, this would be the lowest mark since his debut season in 2011. Even if we make the easy assumption that he will overperform such a cautious estimate, it’s not certain if he will break .600 like he has so many times before.

Regardless, as mentioned before, below average numbers for Mike Trout are still better than almost everyone else.

Steamer has Trout topping the LA Angels in fWAR, wRC+, OBP, SLG, walks, and RBIs, while finishing second in home runs, third in doubles, and fourth in AVG.

As for where he ranks in the whole league, Trout is top-10 in fWAR, wRC+, OBP, SLG, walks, RBIs, and home runs.

Realistically, Trout's actual numbers in 2022 will probably be somewhere in between the ZiPS and Steamer projections. It's just really hard to believe even he would be capable of playing a full season and that the Angels would risk overworking him after all the time he's missed over the past few years.

Next. Projecting our Opening Day starting rotation during lockout. dark

Then again, if anyone can defy the odds and actually manage to come back after missing almost an entire year and somehow perform anywhere close to these projections, it's Trout.