Friday, September 6, 2013
Mike Trout keeps getting better
By Kenton Wong
ESPN Stats & Information
ESPN Stats & InformationNot to be lost in another rough season for the Los Angeles Angels is the fact that Mike Trout is having another amazing year. Trout will eclipse the 139 games he played at the big-league level last year in a few days. On the surface it looks as if his numbers have dipped as he has fewer homers and steals than last year, but his rate stats show that he has actually improved over his 2012 season.
Mike Trout's discipline at the plate has been key to his improvement this season.
Last season Trout put up a triple slash of .326/.399/.564. This season, he has improved all three of those numbers to .335/.433/.574. Thanks to an increase in doubles and triples, Trout's isolated power is exactly what it was last year (.238).
In addition to his power/speed combo, Trout showed good plate discipline last year, ranking 39th in baseball with a 25 percent chase rate on pitches outside the zone. This season as pitchers gave him even fewer quality pitches to hit, Trout has become more patient, chasing just 22 percent of pitches out of the zone, which ranks 23rd in baseball.
Trout's pitch recognition doesn't just apply to pitches out of the zone though. As he has learned to lay off a higher percentage of pitches out of the zone, he has also been more aggressive when recognizing strikes.
Walk this way
One of the biggest jumps Trout has made is in his walk rate. Last season he walked 10.5 percent of the time. This season he's up to 14 percent, which is tied for the fifth-best in baseball trailing only Joey Votto, Shin-Soo Choo, Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Santana.
Trout is on pace to become the seventh Angel to walk 100 times in a season and the first since Chone Figgins did it in 2009.
Assuming Trout doesn't go into a massive slump that drops his batting average more than 10 percentage points, he will have his second straight season with at least a .325 average, 20 home runs and 30 steals.
There have been only 14 such seasons in the live ball era and Trout would join Hall of Famer Willie Mays as the only players with a pair of them.