Mike Trout has reached Barry Bonds status

Mike Trout’s historic rookie season for the Angels has been noticed by fans, media, and everyone in baseball, and now we can quantify just how truly incredible he’s been.

As Hardball Talk points out to us, Trout has become the first player in baseball to post a 10 WAR since Barry Bonds in 2004.

WAR is a newer statistical metric that measures “Wins Above Replacement,” or how many more wins a player has contributed to a team than a bench player or minor-league replacement would be expected to contribute. Based on the way Baseball-Reference calculates WAR (different sites use different formulas), Trout has contributed 10 wins above what a replacement player would be expected to contribute. That is an astonishing number, especially for a guy who didn’t play his first Major League game until April 28.

According to Baseball-Reference, there have only been 9 10-WAR seasons in the last 20 years — five by batters and four by pitchers. Three of them were achieved by Barry Bonds:

    – Barry Bonds 2004 10.3
    – Barry Bonds 2002 11.6
    – Barry Bonds 2001 11.6
    – Sammy Sosa 2001 10.1
    – Alex Rodriguez 2000 10.1

    – Roger Clemens 1997 11.8
    – Pedro Martinez 2000 11.4
    – Randy Johnson 2002 10.2
    – Zack Greinke 2009 10.1

Trout already has 10 WAR and still has 22 games left to play. He could easily get above 11 WAR, which would put him on par with Barry Bonds.

Between the MVP-level batting, baserunning, and defense he’s shown, Trout is easily the best all-around player in the game this year. I don’t think Jim Leyland has much of a complaint anymore.

Mike Trout starts Angels’ win with home run, ends game by robbing one (Videos)

Mike Trout book-ended the Angels’ 6-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday with two incredible plays that encapsulate his phenomenal all-around talent. The Angels rookie led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run off reigning AL Cy Young Award and MVP winner Justin Verlander, and he recorded the final out by robbing Prince Fielder of a home run in center field.

First, let’s watch Trout homer in his first career at-bat against Justin Verlander on a 1-1 pitch:

[Read more...]

Jim Leyland: Miguel Cabrera deserves MVP over ‘Wonderboy’ Mike Trout

Miguel Cabrera is having an outstanding season for the Tigers. It’s the type of season we have come to expect from the 29-year-old over his 13-year career. Cabrera has 29 homers to go along with 95 RBI. His batting average is an impressive .322 and his on-base percentage is a solid .384. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but Cabrera is a definite American League MVP contender. The only problem is a 21-year-old named Mike Trout could stand in his way.

As his manager, Jim Leyland is obviously pulling for Cabrera to win the award. However, the logic he used to support his third baseman during an interview with WXYT 97.1 Radio in Detroit on Thursday was puzzling.

“I mean this respectfully,” Leyland said according to ESPN.com. “I don’t mean this disrespectfully — I think what could be a little problem for Miggy is in my opinion Miggy is the MVP. Now we have time left, if the voting was today Miggy is the MVP. However, he could run into one of the wonder boy stories. You know, young kid, 20 years old. Everyone gets excited about that. Everybody loves that, has a nice ring to it.”

[Read more...]

Mike Trout robs home run from Gordon Beckham with awesome catch (Video)

Mike Trout is making a habit of delivering amazing catches for the Angels. The 20-year-old center fielder robbed White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham of a home run in the second inning of Saturday’s game. The catch wasn’t quite as spectacular as his one to rob J.J. Hardy in Baltimore in June, but he still went way over the wall to bring one back and save a run, which was critical since the Angels won 6-5 in 10 innings.

As if leading MLB in runs and batting average weren’t enough, Trout is up there for best catches as well. This guy is phenomenal.

Here’s a look at his catch against the Orioles in June for comparison:

[Read more...]

Ron Washington: Comparing Mike Trout to Willie Mays has to stop

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

Mike Trout’s girlfriend is Jessica Cox, his high school sweetheart

Mike Trout is practically on top of the world right now. He’s young, the best player on a playoff contender and an MVP candidate — as a rookie. So who’s the lucky lady who gets to be Trout’s romantic companion during these exciting times? A supermodel? Pop star? Miss July? Kim Kardashian? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Definitely wrong.

No, the Angels phenom is keeping things simple (as most baseball players not named Evan Longoria, Matt Kemp and Alex Rodriguez do) and dating his high school sweetheart Jessica Cox. “I met her in high school, and we trust each other, and she is one of my best friends,” Trout told the Philadelphia Daily News, per to PlayerWives.com. “She is somebody I can talk to and is always here for me.”

A gloss over of her Twitter page reveals Trouty recently sent her a bouquet of roses with the message, “I love you and miss you.” Ah, to be young and in love. Additionally, she is currently vacationing in Bermuda and likes to Instagram photos of bowls of fruit. The life of an MLB WAG!

Here are more photos of these two lovebirds together:

[Read more...]

Mike Trout makes crazy catch to rob J.J. Hardy of home run (Video)

Mike Trout leads the American League in batting average and stolen bases, and if they had a category for spectacular catches, he’d be leading that too.

The 20-year-old outfielder made a perfectly timed jump to rob Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a home run to center in the first inning of Wednesday’s Angels-Orioles game. Trout extended well beyond the fence, and barely caught the ball with a snow-cone grab. The youngster was so fired up about making the catch he pounded his chest and gave a few loud “woos.” He seemed to be as impressed with himself for the catch as we were.

And if things weren’t bad enough for Hardy, Erick Aybar made a leaping catch in the third to rob the Oriole infielder of a hit in his next at-bat. Sometimes baseball just isn’t fair.