By: Cory Vest
Mike Trout has won two American League Most Valuable Player Awards in his six seasons in the MLB. Trout claimed the award in 2014, and then again, in 2016. In 2015, the center fielder made a strong case for the award when he belted 41 home runs, drove in 91 RBIs and hit .299. He was the runner-up however, to Toronto’s Josh Donaldson.
Today, in a young 2017 season, Trout is once again showing he is the best player in baseball. The 25-year old is batting an impressive .368, good for sixth in the league. Trout is tied for second in the MLB in hits with 36. Those 36 hits have occurred over a span of 24 games, which means Trout has gone hitless in only three games this season. Eleven of those games have consisted of multi-hits. Trout has strung together a streak of 14 consecutive games with a hit. Trout also has 14 games with at least one RBI. This has contributed to Trout’s 18 RBIs on the season.
Trout has recorded 9 doubles (tied for 4th in the league), and 2 triples (tied for 5th in MLB). Trout has touched them all with 7 big blasts, good for a share of the 11th spot in the MLB. The total number of bases Trout has rounded has led to a slugging percentage (total bases divided by at bats) of .703, which lands him at 6th in the MLB. To accompany his SLG, is his solid on base percentage of .443 (8th in league). On base percentage measures the amount of times a player gets on base whether it be via hit, walk, or hit by pitch and divides that by total number of plate appearances including at-bats, walks, hit by pitch, and sacrifice flies. When you add the OBP (on base percentage) to the SLG (slugging percentage) you come away with OPS. Trout has a beefed-up OPS of 1.151 (5th in the MLB).
Trout’s power combined with his speed creates a deadly combination that is a nightmare for pitchers. Trout has stolen a total of 5 bases and has yet to be caught. Trout’s speed also helps on defense as he anchors the outfield, standing tall in center. Trout has already robbed a home run from Texas Rangers’ Mike Napoli. The robbery occurred at the Big A in the top of the 10th inning. Witnesses could not help but stand in awe of the occurrence. The robbery was reported to be a game saver, as the Angels went on to steal the victory in the bottom of the 10th.
That hasn’t been the only time that Trout has stepped up during the late innings. In instances occurring during the 7th inning or later, Trout has provided a lot of support at the plate. Against the Mariners of Seattle, Trout hit a two-run dinger in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie. The Angels would win the game 5-3. In another game against Seattle, Trout found his way on base in the 9th inning, which led him to scoring the game winning run. With the Texas Rangers closing in on a victory, Trout pulled the Halos within a run in the 9th inning with his RBI double. The Angels ended up tying the game, then winning it in the 10th. Again 9th inning heroics were on display, as Trout hit one out to get the Angels on the board, making it a 2-1 ball game against the Astros; unfortunately, the Angels would only get that lone run, leading to a loss. In an extra inning game against the A’s, Trout came through with a round tripper to tie the game at one a-piece. In the 11th, the Angels would snag the victory. Finally, against Texas, Trout did his job in the 8th inning by reaching base. Pujols would do the rest by hitting the game winning home run.
So, there you have it. He is a force on offense and protects his land on defense. He comes through in crunch time at the plate and can flash the leather when it counts. A third MVP award and second in a row? I think it is more than possible for the Angel all-star.