Results tagged ‘ Mike Trout ’
Author’s note: This article was originally posted on High Heat Stats (link).
When the Los Angeles Angels announce over the winter that they had agreed to a deal with former Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton, the first thought that ran through my head was “Good God, pitchers aren’t going to stand a chance against this modern day murderer’s row.” Those thoughts didn’t change much throughout the spring and by the time April rolled around I, like so many others, felt that a lineup including the legendary Albert Pujols, the powerful Josh Hamilton, and the electric Mike Trout would be piling up runs like they were going out of style. After all, if they could rank among the 3 or 4 best scoring lineups in 2012 without Hamilton, just imagine how scary they would be with him plopped in the #4 hole.
But as we sit here on May 16th, nearly 40 games deep into the regular season, the Angels enter play with the 11th ranked scoring attack in the American League and one of the worst records in baseball. So what’s been the deal in L.A.? The Angels have done a solid job making contact at the plate (their 103 OPS+ is 6th best in baseball) and they’re starting to work the long ball, averaging just over 1 home run a game, so why are they stuck with one of the most mediocre looking attacks in the league? The answer, I believe, lies somewhere as simple as the base paths.
As we prepare to embark on yet another wild and enthralling MLB season it’s time for everyone’s favorite exercise in futility: Predictions! After 2012’s thrilling season ended with the Giants raising the World Series trophy the offseason that followed was full of surprises. Annually overlooked ball clubs like Cleveland, Toronto, and Kansas City all made big win-now moves while traditional powers like the Yankees and Phillies opted for minor moves and the ensuing result could turn baseball as we know it on its head. So without further adu, I present to you my thoughts and ideas about what’s in store in 2013. No matter what happens, 2013 should be a thrilling year so sit back, grab a beer, and get settled in for some great baseball.
Even though all 10 playoff spots have already been claimed this year, the last day of the season still has the potential for fireworks, particularly in the American League. There are plenty of important story lines floating around out there including: the American League West having a winner-take-all game out in Oakland, the AL East dogfight finally reaching a conclusion , and a Triple Crown coming into fruition, among other things. Let’s take a sneak peek at some of the more intriguing bits of news still left in the regular season.
The race to win the MVP award in the American League is starting to look like one of the best contests in recent baseball history. In one corner you have Miguel Cabrera – the all-around best hitter in the American League over the last 5 seasons, who is also having his finest season in 10 years in the Major Leagues in 2012. This year the Tigers 3rd baseman is on his way to a potential Triple Crown, needing just one more homerun to hold the lead in all three categories (batting average, homers, and RBI). In the other corner we have Mike Trout. The precocious 20-year-old already locked up the AL Rookie of the Year award months ago and is wowing fans on a nightly basis with his ability to make an impact in every facet of the game, becoming the first rookie to hit 25+ homers while stealing 40+ bases. Cabrera holds the American League lead in many of the classic power stats (batting avg, homers, RBI, slugging, while Trout reigns supreme in many of the sabermetric and base running statistics like defensive runs saved, steals, runs scored, and WAR (wins above replacement).
It’s a classic duel of the great, middle-of-the-order slugger vs. the young speed demon with a glove of gold and great pop in the bat at the top of the order. Basically it’s baseball’s version of chicken or the egg. Do you prefer the player who sets the table, scores the runs and plays great defense or the one who clears the bases by driving in everybody while knocking the ball all over the diamond? I’ll get into who I think will win the award in a bit, but first I want to examine this great debate.
Every season one of my favorite debates revolves around which big league team has put together the best outfield trio. This season the debate is as heated as it’s ever been, with contenders from both the American and National Leagues. So without further adu, let’s break down the strongest outfield units to see what we can find.
Sorry for the delay this month on the Rookie Report. We’re attempting to move to Springfield and it’s a little difficult to find time to do the research and catch up on games while I’m busy packing, interviewing (I got the job!!), and still going to work at my current job. But anyway, enough about me, let’s take a look at the league’s best rookies:
With the season just over halfway complete, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a look at some of the most pressing questions in baseball leading into what is sure to be an exciting push to October. With 21 teams in contention at the midway point, parity is at an all-time high in baseball. Teams from every sort of market and every sort of financial background are competing with each other, and the extra Wild Card spot has made contenders out of just about everybody excluding the Cubbies. Here we go:
Mike Trout does things normal human beings can’t do. Amazing.