With tomorrow being the last day of May and the first two months of the season behind us, it seems as good a time as any to evaluate Mike Trout’s sophomore campaign compared to what he did as the American League Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Some have suggested he’s experiencing a sophomore slump, and his key numbers are indeed down a tick (.298 batting average compared to .326 last year, .371 on-base percentage compared to .399, .558 slugging percentage compared to .564), he’s still producing. His 10 home runs and 37 RBIs project out to 30 (the same as last year in 139 games) and 113 (30 better). And that’s to say nothing of his WAR, which leads the club – but you didn’t need a fancy new statistical measure to see how valuable he is to the Halos.
He’s making barely more than the league minimum and yet is doing more for the Angels than Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, who are costing Arte Moreno the equivalent of the GDP of Guam. Where would they be without him? At five games under .500, they’ll have to play much better baseball (and probably acquire some pitching help at the trade deadline) if they want to even enter the wild-card picture, but at least Trout is giving us something to get excited about, right?
Speaking of that, Trout is involved in a charity raffle and giving fans a chance to win tickets to a game, meet him on the field and get some autographed items from him (www.togetherwedogood.com/miketrout). It’s being run by former MLBer Chris Singleton, who is close with Trout.
I think we can all agree that no matter how the Halos perform over the next four months, Trout will give us something to watch most nights. But the larger question is whether he can duplicate what he did last year. Unless Miguel Cabrera goes into a prolonged slump or is slowed by injury, it seems there’s little stopping him from his repeating as the American League MVP, but where does Trout fit in the discussion of who is the second best player in the AL this year?