Will Angels manager Ron Washington unlock Mike Trout's forgotten superpower?

Run, Mike, run!
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels have an identity crisis. The Halos enter the 2024 season without their best player from a year ago, an owner who's cutting payroll, and a disillusioned fanbase that is dreading the upcoming season. Things are not very sunny in LA, no matter what the weatherman says.

But new Angels manager Ron Washington is looking to bring a new identity to this year's club. One thing that Washington wants to instill in his team is being aggressive on the base paths. Washington said (via MLB.com), “I want us to be a tremendous baserunning team.”

That's all well and good for the youngsters on the roster like Kyren Paris, Jordyn Adams, and Jo Adell, but the Angels' skipper isn't expecting Mike Trout to be part of the action, right? Believe it or not, according to Baseball Savant, Trout was the fastest player on the Angels roster in 2023.

Will LA Angels manager Ron Washington unlock Mike Trout's forgotten superpower?

Not only was Trout the fastest player on his own team last season, but at 31 years old, the three-time MVP ranked among the 96th percentile in sprint speed. Trout's 29.5 feet per second was outpacing players like Lane Thomas (29.3 ft/ sec), Travis Jankowksi (29.0 ft/ sec) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (29.2 ft/ sec).

Angels fans seem to forget that, during his rookie season, Trout led the league with 49 stolen bases. He swiped 33 bags the following year and recorded double-digit stolen bases from 2012-2019. However, the past four seasons have seen Trout post just six stolen bases combined.

There are Angels fans who'll object the idea, citing the stupidity of having the team's best player running the bases with reckless abandon after being in and out of the lineup over the last several seasons with a variety of injuries. But Trout hasn't suffered a lower body injury since 2021 (strained calf).

Washington didn't mince words when talking about Trout's ability to take a base during the upcoming season. “If Mike Trout wants to steal bases, he can steal bases. He could steal 100 if he wanted to,” the Angels' skipper told MLB.com.

Trout said earlier this spring that he plans to play the 2024 season with no limitations. Perhaps it's time for the 11-time All-Star to remind everyone that he's a five-tool player, and one of those tools is his speed.

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