Angels’ Trout Proving He Is a WARrior

By Glen Sparks

You know that the Angels’ Mike Trout had a big year in 2014. But did he put up a historic season? Yes, he did, according to an article on mlb.com.

Trout led the Majors in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for the third straight season. He was the youngest unanimous MVP in Major League history, and he is now the only player to hit 75 home runs, steal 75 bases and score at least 300 runs in his first 400 games.

Oh, and he was also the MVP of the All-Star game. And, oh, he didn’t turn 23 until Aug. 7. Really, he could have three MVPs by now. Don Baylor, the American League MVP for the Angels in 1979, sounds confident that Trout will be adding to his collection. “It may be his first MVP (in 2014),” says Baylor, “but it won’t be his last.”

Baylor, by the way, is the Angels’ hitting coach. What do you think he says to Trout? — Something like “Hey, you’re really good at this whole swinging the bat and hitting the ball thing”?

Trout is probably the greatest offensive force since … his teammate Albert Pujols was ripping baseballs all over the field and out of the park for the St. Louis Cardinals. Here is a comparison of Trout and Pujols at the start of their careers. I am including Pujols’ first three seasons and Trout’s first three full seasons plus his cup-of-coffee campaign in 2011 when he was a wee lad of 19 and just a year removed from Milville (N.J.) Senior High School.

Trout

2011, AGE 19

40 G, 123 AB, 20 R, 27 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 4 SB, .220 AVG, .281 OB, .390 SLG, .672 OPS, 89 OPS+, 0.7 WAR

2012, AGE 20

139 G, 559 AB, 129 R, 182 H, 27 2B, 8 3B, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 49 SB, .326 AVG, .399 OB, .564 SLG, .963 OPS, 168 OPS+, WAR 10.8

2013, AGE 21

157 G, 589 AB, 109 R, 190 H, 39 2B, 9 3B, 27 HR, 97 RBI, 33 SB, .323 AVG, .432 OB, .557 SLG, .988 OPS, 179 OPS+, WAR 8.9

2014, AGE 22

157 G, 602 AB, 115 R, 173 H, 39 2B, 9 3B, 36 HR, 111 RBI, 16 SB, .287 AVG, .377 OB, .561 SLG, .939 OPS, 167 OPS+, WAR 7.9

Besides winning the American League MVP last season, Trout was Rookie of the Year in 2011. He has made the All-Star team and been a Silver Slugger winner in each of his first three full seasons. Trout was runner-up in the MVP voting in 2011 and 2012.

Pujols

2001, AGE 21

161 G, 590 AB, 112 R, 194 H, 47 2B, 4 3B, 37 HR, 130 RBI, 1 SB, .329 AVG, .403 OB, .610 SLG, 1.013 OPS, 157 OPS+, 6.6 WAR

2002, AGE 22

157 G, 590 AB, 118 R, 185 H, 40 2B, 2 3B, 34 HR, 127 RBI, 2 SB, .314 AVG, .394 OB, .561 SLG, .955, 151 OPS+, 5.5

2003 AGE 23

157 G, 591 AB, 137 R, 212 H, 51 2B, 1 3B, 43 HR, 124 RBI, 5 SB, .359, .439 OB, .667 SLG, 1.106 OPS, 187 OPS+, 8.6 WAR

Albert was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2001 and finished fourth in the MVP voting that season. He was MVP runner-up in 2002 and 2003. He was a Silver Slugger in 2001 and 2003 and also an All-Star in those seasons.

So, who would you take? Pujols had some better power numbers to start his career, and Trout obviously is the speedier of the two. Trout also has played his first three seasons in a run-suppressed environment, while Pujols started his career during one of the greatest hitting eras in baseball history.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s