MLB Betting Report on Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout
If you paid attention to the recent MVP awards that the League gave out this MLB betting season, you noticed that Toronto’s Josh Donaldson took home the trophy this year. The runner-up? The Angels’ Mike Trout. Trout was the runner-up for the third time in four seasons. Trout did make a strong case, but Donaldson also had a huge season…and he played for a team that went all the way to the ALCS.
Inside Look at the MLB Betting Report on Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) November 20, 2015
Even though Trout has finished second so many times, there is no way to overstate what he has accomplished during his first four major league seasons. You could argue that he has done more than any other player in MLB history through his age-23 season. So could he be the best player of all time?
According to the metric Wins Above Replacement, the best position player was Babe Ruth, who sat at 168.4 over his career. Right now, that same statistical model has Trout at 38.5 WAR. This ranks him #256 among position players in the modern era, so he’s already ahead of such Hall of Famers as Pie Traynor and Roy Campanella, and such famous heroes as Kirk Gibson and Roger Maris.
Trout does draw a lot of comparisons with Mickey Mantle, but there’s no reason to think he’ll be as fragile as Mantle was. A lot of people compare him to Willie Mays, who played from the age of 20 until the age of 42. Trout had his first full season at the age of 20, so let’s assume that he can play through the age of 42. Given the advancements in conditioning, sports nutrition and the like, this isn’t a hard assumption to make, unless Trout has a career-ending injury.
Trout really hasn’t had a trademark year yet. He’s been terrific, but he hasn’t really exploded. You could compare him to a player like Carl Yastrzemski, who had one of his biggest seasons at the age of 27. So far, Trout has looked like four completely different players. He’s had a season when he excelled in speed and defense, a season when he took a ton of walks, a season when he minimized strikeouts, and a season when he pounded the ball all over the park. Now that he’s had a 40-homer season well before his prime, who’s to say that he couldn’t have a 50-homer season? Or a 60-homer season? That could again draw comparisons to Mantle, Maris and the like.
For Trout to catch Babe Ruth in terms of WAR, for those who think that it’s unrealistic, he’s already had two seasons that would resemble what he needs at his peak in order to make that total. It would be easier if he played for a team with a park that was more amenable to a power hitter, without the alleys in Angel Stadium that turn home runs into doubles or long fly balls, but in the free agency era there’s nothing to suggest that he will be an Angel for life. With these trends already at work in his career, the sky is truly the limit.