Happy Birthday, Mike Trout
Ahem. Happy 21st birthday, Mike Trout.
Mike Trout can finally have a legal drink…something he might have to do after he becomes just the third rookie in history to win the MVP award.
Trout is on a downright historic pace – for anyone, much less a dude born in 1991. He currently leads the American League in batting average at .348, OPS+ at 183, runs scored at 86 (in just 87 games) and stolen bases with 36 (having been caught just 3 times). Add to the fact that he catches just about anything hit anywhere near his direction, and you have what has to be the best all-around player in baseball for 2012.
In terms of Wins Above Replacement, Trout stands neck and neck with the two other rookies to win MVP, Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn. Both had marvelous seasons, registering 7.1 and 7.5 WAR respectively. Trout stands at 7.4 – after just 86 games! That’s a 162-game pace of 13.8 WAR – or roughly what Babe freaking Ruth put up in his best season. Put another way, the difference between Mike Trout and second place (Robby Cano) is about the same as the difference between Cano and, for example, Denard Span.
Naturally, Mike Trout will win rookie of the year as well (though he barely qualified). In doing so, he will become the second Angels rookie to win the award, and also the second Angel named after a type of fish.
Trout gives his manager, Mike Scioscia, the total package. Power to all fields, speed, defense – the classic 5-tool player. And to think the Angels wanted to start Vernon Wells over him when the season began.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Trout. Does it feel weird to be called “mister” – anything, at your age ? Get used to it. You started the season as a minor leaguer, a top prospect for sure, but an afterthought in Anaheim with the signing of mega-star Albert Pujols.
Somehow, I doubt you’ll ever be an afterthought again.