Archive for the ‘Mike Trout’ Category

fastest_runners

It’s always fun to compare the skills of athletes, so let’s take a look at the fastest baseball players in the league right now. We timed each runners speed from the crack of the bat at home plate to when their foot touches the bag at first.

These 6 players had the fastest times. Also, huge thanks to our MLB Features writer Drew Fairservice for the insight to each player’s speed.

Read the rest of this entry »

SO RICH

SO RICH WOOOOOO

Mama, let your boys grow up to be baseball players. Mike Trout on Friday signed a contract that will pay him more than the career earnings of LeBron James. It is half the length and nearly 50 percent higher than Sidney Crosby’s contract.

Mike Trout just walked away from, roughly, $100 million. By signing a contract that buys up his first three years of free agency, he might have left $100 million on the table.

And yet he signed one of the 20 or so biggest contracts in baseball history. A guy with 336 career games played. He’s probably going to be okay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout hits a home run as Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Geovany Soto watch in Arlington, Texas

Did you know Mike Trout is a great hitter? It’s true, he can really swing the bat. Yu Darvish is a very good pitcher in his own right. He struck out more batters than any other big league pitcher last year, 277 in total. Over the last two seasons, hitters mustered only a .207 average against Darvish, which is better than all but six starters in baseball.

Mike Trout is not “the league”, of course. As such, Mike Trout gets more hits and draws more walks than even the best hitters. He hits bad pitchers and good pitchers and generally does the stuff that makes some people sick of reading his name*. While hitters as a collective turn into Drew Stubbs when they face Yu Darvish, Mike Trout turns into…Mike Trout.

Against Darvish, Trout has four home runs, six walks and nine total hits in 34 plate appearances. Of course, a 34 PA sample isn’t much to go on as far as predicting the future. But Trout’s skills and abilities provide a difficult challenge for any pitcher, even one as skilled as Yu Darvish. Luckily for Rangers fans, Darvish is not taking the manhandling sitting down. This year, Darvish plans on making adjustments and attacking Mike Trout in a whole new way.

Read the rest of this entry »

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels

If talk is cheap, Spring Training workout talk is “wheelbarrow full of devalued currency” worthless. Everybody is in the best shape of their life, everybody is primed for a big season, everybody is ready to leave last year in the past.

When it’s Mike Trout who starts making noise about improving over 2013 and being in the best shape of his life, people tend to notice. In a pre-camp State of the Franchise address with Angels media, Trout expressed a desire to bring his stolen base totals up after swiping a mere 33 bags in 2013.

Stolen bases aside, the question of Mike Trout’s future performance is a very interesting one. Specifically: how much better can he get? And on the flip side of that question, what would it look like if he got worse?

Read the rest of this entry »

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. It is just about the time on the calendar where any and all Mike Trout love flows like wine. When the Angels brass call him into their Tempe office and slide a piece of paper across the table.

What will the paper say? Will it feature another borderline insulting minimal raise or will it detail the richest contract in baseball history? Either way, fire up your outrage machines, the topic du jour is Trout’s pay packet.

Read the rest of this entry »

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. Even if you don’t agree, you would have a hard time mounting a vigorous disagreement that he ranks any lower than second. He might not be as good a hitter as Miguel Cabrera right now but, at 22-years old, the gap is more narrow now than you think.

Mike Trout turned 22 in August, which makes 2013 his “age-21″ season. Among all players in the history of the game, Mike Trout ranks among the very best, ever, at this point in his career. His OPS ranks fourth behind Ted Williams, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx (inner circle Hall of Famers all.) His OPS+, which adjusts for era and league? First. None better through age 21. Zero.

We could keep going all day long. Batting average? 7th best at this age. On base and slugging percentage? Top five each. He is on a historical trajectory that could well see him end up as one of the best players in history. Obvious hyperbole, but Trout keeps playing at such a level as to render no hyperbole off limits. All bets are off.

Even without considering his age, the things he’s doing (or has already done) in his career puts him in extremely exclusive company. How many (Live Ball era) center fielders can say they put up seasons with an OPS+ higher than 165 in their careers more than once? Nine.

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Willie Mays 7 1954 1965 23-34 Ind. Seasons
2 Mickey Mantle 7 1955 1964 23-32 Ind. Seasons
3 Joe DiMaggio 4 1937 1941 22-26 Ind. Seasons
4 Tris Speaker 4 1920 1925 32-37 Ind. Seasons
5 Ken Griffey 3 1993 1997 23-27 Ind. Seasons
6 Ty Cobb 3 1921 1925 34-38 Ind. Seasons
7 Mike Trout 2 2012 2013 20-21 Ind. Seasons
8 Bobby Murcer 2 1971 1972 25-26 Ind. Seasons
9 Duke Snider 2 1954 1955 27-28 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2013.

How many can say they did so (OPS+ > 165) with 25 home runs and 25 steals? Only three center fielders accomplished this feat. Just one player did it twice: Mike Trout.

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Mike Trout 2 2012 2013 20-21 Ind. Seasons
2 Matt Kemp 1 2011 2011 26-26 Ind. Seasons
3 Willie Mays 1 1957 1957 26-26 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2013.

The only other player to accomplish this feat more than once, regardless of position? Barry Bonds.

We could sit here all day and create imaginary buckets in vain attempts to place Mike Trout’s young career into context. Most people get it by now: he’s really good. You know the “whats” of his accomplishments and the “whos” of his statistical peer group. What you might not know is the how. I spoke with Mike Trout about how he does what he does in this edition of My Approach.

Read the rest of this entry »

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

One easy, fall-back buzzword you hear baseball broadcasters drone on and on about is “consistency.” They want players to be consistent. The players themselves, they also seek consistency. Everybody wants to be consistent.

It is difficult to parse what it actually means, however. It doesn’t seem offside to assume for nearly all parties invovled — fans included — that “consistency” means “successful all the time.” Being good often and you are thought of as consistent. Problem solved!

The real world of baseball doesn’t work like this. Your average Major Leaguer’s swing is a miracle of physical dynamics, with a million moving parts requiring pinpoint timing across hundreds of plate appearances and six long months of physical punishment and laborious travel.

Because of that punishment, it is hard to be consistent. Because of the incredibly difficult task that is hitting major league-quality pitching, it is very hard to be consistent and productive over the span of a season.

The two best players in baseball have accomplished something very impressive this season. Both Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera have one specific thing in common this year – an uncommon consistency.

Read the rest of this entry »