Sunday, July 22, 2012
Trout's rookie season already historic
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US Presswire
Regardless of his age, Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout is on pace for a historic season.
Mike Trout has made an instant impact as a rookie for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,
and has put himself not only in Rookie of the Year talk, but MVP consideration as well.
If he plays in every game the rest of the season, he’ll play in 140 games. If you project his current totals to 140 games, he would hit 28 home runs, steal 59 bases and hit .354. No player in major-league history has finished a season with those numbers.
Even if Trout can’t maintain his current pace, no player in history has hit .340 with 20 HR and 40 SB in a single season. (He’s currently hitting .354 with 15 HR and 31 stolen bases.)
Trout enters tonight’s Sunday Night Baseball game (ESPN, 8 ET) against the Texas Rangers with 31 stolen bases, 47 RBI and 105 hits in his first 73 major-league games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other player in MLB history has reached those totals in his first 73 games played in a season, rookie or non-rookie.
The Angels are also cashing in when Trout gets on base. He’s scored a run in 13 consecutive games entering Sunday, tying Jim Edmonds’ franchise record.
According to Elias, the 13 straight games with a run scored also ties a major-league record for the longest streak by a rookie dating back to 1957, when the rookie qualification standard was established. The only other rookie to score a run in at least 13 straight games was his current teammate, Albert Pujols, who did so in 2001.
By the end of the season, Trout’s rookie campaign could be grouped with some of the best rookie seasons in baseball history. He could join Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) as the only players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
Trout enters Sunday batting .354, 20 points higher than any other qualified player in the American League. If he keeps up the .354 mark, it would be the highest by a rookie since George Watkins hit .373 in 1930. He’d also be the third rookie to win a batting titles, joining Suzuki and Tony Oliva (1964).
Trout, who turns 21 in August, could also become the third-youngest player to win a batting title going back to 1900, trailing only Al Kaline and Ty Cobb.
If Trout continues at this pace, he’ll find himself in the MVP discussion, with a chance to become the first 21-year-old MVP in major-league history. Currently, the youngest player to win an MVP award is Vida Blue, who won in 1971 at 22 years, 64 days old.
So, what traits make Trout stand out?
• He has a .343 OBP with two strikes, the second-best mark in the A.L. behind Elvis Andrus’ .351.
• He has an MLB-best .750 slugging percentage against off-speed pitches this season.
• He’s hitting an MLB-best .411 on pitches located on the bottom third of the zone or lower. The MLB average is .223.