Mike Trout had a typically great Mike Trout season, albeit a shortened one, in 2020. Though he was perhaps a victim of his own excellence.
Trout hit .281/.390/.603 with 17 home runs, a perfectly excellent season for most mortals. But that was the lowest batting average and wRC+ (164) of Trout’s nine “full” seasons, his lowest slugging percentage since 2016, and his lowest on base percentage since 2014.
He was still great, finishing in the top five in home runs, RBI, runs scored, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (168), wRC+, and fWAR (2.6).
In American League MVP voting, Trout finished fifth. By all accounts, 2020 was another fantastic season for Trout. Fifth just happens to be his lowest finish in nine full seasons. Such is the burden of being Mike Trout, who can still be excellent yet not at his best.
Trout reached a milestone this year, and not just the birth of his son Beckham, born on July 30 with the baseball-friendly initials of BAT. After his son was born, Trout returned from the paternity list to hit nine home runs in 13 games.
On September 5 against the Astros, Trout took right-hander Brandon Bielak deep in the third inning at home. The 300th home run of Trout’s career gave him sole possession of the top spot on the Angels’ all-time home run list, and came one night after Trout tied Tim Salmon atop the leaderboard.
“At least I can pass the torch onto somebody in the family, another fish,” Salmon joked on the Fox Sports West broadcast.
Stats: .281/.390/.603, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 2.6 fWAR
Salary: $36 million
Game of the year
Trout on August 10 against the A’s had a season-high four hits, his 19th career game with four or more hits. The Angels trailed 9-4 at one point in this game, but Trout keyed the comeback, first with a two-run home run in the fourth inning then the game-winning home run to break a tie in the eighth, sending the Angels to a 10-9 victory.
Trout is under contract for 10 more seasons, and in 2021 will make $35.45 million. A bargain.