Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout is an insanely good athlete. After spending much of the first month of the season in the minors, Trout has wasted no time figuring out how to wear out Major League pitching and make an impact on the game. In 74 games, Trout is leading the American League with a .357 average, 31 stolen bases, 70 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .412. He has also added 15 homers and 47 RBI and played tremendous defense in center field.
For all the aforementioned reasons and more, folks are already comparing the 20-year-old phenom to Willie Mays. Rangers manager Ron Washington says that has to stop.
“He’s not Willie Mays,” Washington said after a loss to the Angels on Sunday according to ESPN.com. “He’s a pretty good player, but I think the comparisons have to stop. Let the kid play. When he’s been here five years, six years, then you can start doing that.”
I couldn’t agree more. Trout is obviously a phenomenal talent with incredible potential as he has shown with plays like this one, but Mays is arguably the best all-around player to ever play the game. As amazing as it is that Trout has already shown he is a five-tool player after just over 100 total Major League starts, that could also mean opposing pitchers have yet to figure him out. Mays played over 20 seasons, hit 660 home runs and drove in nearly 2,000. If Trout continues to produce at a high level for about 1,500-2,000 more games, then the comparisons to Mays would be slightly more justified.
Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE