This isn’t exactly news at this point but I still feel it my duty to point out: Mike Trout is ridiculous. He is in the middle of a ridiculous season, putting up ridiculous numbers of all stripe. The 20-year old currently sits eighth in baseball in fWAR (among position players) and seventh in rWAR (among everybody), fourth in steals, eighth in OBP, tenth in wOBA, and sits tied for fourth in outfielder defensive runs saved.
Not bad for a guy who didn’t make his season debut until the 28th of April.
Update: Whoops. The original version of this post listed Mike Trout as 21. He is only 20. TWENTY. Which makes everything he is doing that much more impressive. Apologies for the error. Mike Trout makes me impulsive.
It bears repeating that Mike Trout is just 20-years old. He does not turn 21 until August. He has become must see TV, where each and every plate appearance Mike Trout makes is bound to result in something exciting. Sort of like last night, when Mike Trout wore out Barry Zito and the Giants last night, going 4-4 with two doubles and two steals. He reached base five times and scored four times (hitting in front of Albert Pujols has its privileges.) Albert Pujols knows something about being a phenom, he also knows a great player when he sees one. From the OC Register:
“It’s pretty impressive to see a young guy like that – 20 years old, the way he runs, the way he plays the game,” Pujols said. “He sets the tempo leading off and he sets the table for the middle of the lineup. When he gets on base, we know we’re going to score some runs.”
As mentioned above, Mike Trout is off to a ridiculous start to the season. He already has posted 3.4 Wins Above Replacement (according to BR). If Trout manages to post another half win or so over the rest of the season, he joins a very exclusive group: 20-year olds with 4 WAR season under their belt in the Expansion Era.
That is a very short list. Three Hall of Famers among the five to pull it off. If we extend back through antiquity, the list gets even more impressive with names like Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Ty Cobb.
Is Mike Trout already on a path to greatness? Let’s not go crazy. He is an incredible talent, a guy who makes things happen by legging out infield hits and putting on a show in the outfield with his blazing speed.
His team is 29-18 in games he starts. He might not generate the off-field headlines of his National League rookie counterpart but Mike Trout is a star. I feel like I could write this blog post once a month until he cools off or the slumps or whatever. But he hasn’t so I will keep doing it.
Special players deserves our overwrought praise and hyperbole until they falter, at which point we get to tear them down as overhyped and creations of their ballpark/easy competition/a fawning local media. It’s the circle of life, really. Enjoy the upswing, Trouty.