The Angels have had a rough couple weeks. They had the high of sweeping the Royals at home, but that was book-ended by lackluster showings against the Mariners and a couple brutal slogs against the Rangers and Milwaukee. If you've stuck with every inning, every pitch, every AB in that span, you deserve a medal. I am right there with you, but that's just one more reason why I love Mike Trout: he makes watching these games 1000x more tolerable than they have a right to be, and these last couple weeks in particular prove it
In the last 14 days, while the team has been serving up losses, Trout has been a madman. He has a .400 AVG in that time frame, on top of a .455 OBP. In all of MLB, only Ryan Braun and Xander Bogaerts have a better average and that on base percentage is good for 10th best. It gets better.
In the past 14 days, his .509 is good for the third highest wOBA in MLB (Wellington Castillo and Anthony Rizzo) and he's got a commanding lead in the wRC department at 251(next highest is Logan Forsythe at 235). In fWAR, he's king of the universe with 1.3...in two weeks...(bows down on both knees)...
THE BASEBALL GOD HAS RETURNED TO DOLE OUT PUNISHMENT ON THE MLB!!!!!
It's safe to say that Mike Trout is locked in, and those first couple weeks of April were just him getting his bearings and re-acclimated to the world after being stored in whatever heavily guarded cryogenic chamber they keep baseball terminators such as himself in during the offseason. But even when he's establishing dominance at the plate, he's doing so in interesting ways. MLB writer David Adler was talking earlier today about how many 2 strike counts Mike Trout sees, and he was BY FAR the leader in that split. Two strike counts aren't optimal but the rad thing is Mike Trout somehow gets good results out of it(.256 avg but it's still 50 points higher than the next guy).
Today had a perfect example. In the eighth inning, to kick-start a big Angels rally, Mike Trout went deep to tie up the game, but guess how many strikes he had. Yep, two. Unreal. Oh, AND HE WENT OPPOSITE FIELD WITH IT.
The power has been uncorked and poured all over these poor pitchers; straight up baseball bullying, if you ask me, and i'm loving every second of it. He's hit five dingers in this tubular two week terrorizing, only Khris Davis and Chris Carter have more(6 each). Oh, and of course he's hitting them hard as hell, as he is currently #2 in MLB this year when it comes to highest average exit velocity of homers(108.4 mph...number one is our old friend Mark Trumbo).
Another thing that came up was Mike Trout and his first pitch tendencies. Don't let anyone fool you into believing that "never swings at first pitch" meme. At least not in 2016:
So far in 2016, Trout's swung at ~5% more 1st pitches than his career avg. (And when put in play, is 4-for-5, 1 HR) https://t.co/OXfXiTGTxp— David Adler (@_dadler) May 4, 2016
So he's actually making the change he had said he would in Spring Training, now if he could only keep that "more base stealing" resolution. We're seeing ultra-prime Trout right now, and yet it feels like he's doing it in a bubble. The hot takes about how Mike Trout had been eclipsed by Bryce Harper as ruler of the MLB youth movement have all but dried up, and why's that? Because Bryce Harper has cooled off drastically; in the past 14 days, he's batting below .200 with an OPS of .727. He's also out there in the world looking like THIS, and while some may argue that it has nothing to do with the game, i'd give them a hearty "yeah, but still" and walk away smugly.
It was just a few weeks ago that we were waiting to see that spark from Trout, the sign of an awakening, a sleeping, elemental force in the form of a kid from New Jersey, who can be life changing to watch once he brings himself out of the sporty haze. I think it's safe to say we're there...again. Trout has brought his average up to .310 and is rocking an OPS up to .941. Were you ever REALLY worried?
Mike Trout has woken up. He's striking fear into pitchers while not only carrying the weight of his team on his back, but also the fans themselves. We're watching for him right now, it seems, and when the rest of the guys make us pump our fists into the air, that's just the gravy. But when that doesn't happen, and the air reeks of another buttercup on the horizon, just remember that Trout is always there, looming like a distant cloud made out of pure awesome, and literally any moment he could make it rain highlights, walk-offs and life long memories.